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For a sustainable future
Issue three 2013

The thirst Also in this issue:

6 Big visions: How Benny Landa (photo) intends with his education fund
ofcities tobridgethedivide in Israeli society.
28 Tiny particles: Where two experts see the opportunities and risks of
More and more cities are nanotechnology.
running dry. How can we meet
36 Life-long learning: Why successful companies are having toputemployee
the challenges of urban water trainingand development center stage.
44 Tireless dedication: What drives former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in the
Cover story from page 8 battleagainst neglected tropical diseases.
Information Innovation
4 The world in figures 26 New discoveries
These facts and figures provide an insight into the We present clever ideas that enrich our
topics covered by this issue. everydaylives.

Inspiration From two perspectives: For & Against

6 The bridge builder 28 Nanotechnology a science under discussion
Entrepreneur Benny Landa has set up a fund Can tiny nanoparticles meet the high expectations
toovercome the differences in Israeli society that are being placed on them? Adebate between
through education. two experts.

8 Water, a seemingly inexhaustible

resource, is scarce in many regions.
Viewpoint BASF
34 A powerful driver of innovation
BASF Board member Andreas Kreimeyer

Cover story
explainswhy nanotechnology is a decisive factor
infurthering innovation.

The issue Feature: Quality of life

8 The thirst of cities 36 Making a career through life-long learning
Increasing numbers of cities are running dry. Companies that want to attract and retain
Smart strategies are required to ensure they are committed and motivated employees have to
supplied with water. puttraining and development center stage.

The graphic Insight

14 Every drop counts 42 A glimpse around the globe: colors
The graphic shows where people suffer from Colors are not just eye-catching, they often also
acute water shortages and where the biggest have hidden meanings. We show what these are
water consumers live. inour glimpse around the globe.

28 Nanotechnology a science under

discussion. The expert Feature: Food and nutrition
16 A world of water 44 Shining a light on hidden diseases
John Briscoe is a cosmopolitan and a water Neglected tropical diseases were long off the radar
expert. In this interview he explains what the future of the wider world. But, thanks to international
of water management could be. efforts, this is gradually changing.

The reality Feature: Resources, environment and climate

20 Children are the agents of change 50 CO2 from exhaust gas to raw material
In the Indian city of Mangalore, students Researchers and engineers worldwide are working
learn about the value of water and share their on making the exhaust gas CO2 usable as a raw
knowledge with the community. material for the chemical industry.

The science Invention

24 The right treatment 56 Pioneering thinker then and now
Products and solutions from BASF contribute to In 1913, Carl Bosch discovered how to produce
the smooth circulation of drinking water, industrial ammonia on an industrial scale. Gerhard Ertl has

44 Strategies to stem the spread of

neglected tropical diseases.
water and wastewater. researched the mechanism behind it.

58 Chemistry around us
What happens in our mouths when we brush

14 Where the biggest


waterconsumers live

2 | Creating Chemistry

The water issue

It is colorless, odorless and has no taste. Everyone knows H2O. Dihydrogen

monoxide, on the other hand, sounds more mysterious, maybe even
threatening but water, whatever you may call it, is a fascinating chemical
compound. Humans, animals and plants all need water to survive. Water cools,
cleans anddissolves. As steam, it produces electricity in power plants.

More than 70% of the Earth is covered in water. Nevertheless, there are
someareas where water supplies are not sufficient to meet demand. Almost
onebillion people do not have access to clean drinking water. Water is not only
scarce in developing countries. Cities such as London, Barcelona, Mexico City,
Houston, Sydney and Singapore also do not have enough (page 8). And
sometimes there is enough water, but it is of poor quality: It is unsuitable
fordrinking and can even make people ill.

Every day, 3,000 children die as a result of contaminated water and lack of
hygiene. The charitable foundation BASF Stiftung and UN-HABITAT, the United
Nations Human Settlements Programme, are working together to support the
right to water. For instance, children in Mangalore, India, are learning how to
use water responsibly and test water quality (page 20).

The work of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is also a success. Since
1986,his organization, The Carter Center, has been fighting to eradicate
Guineaworm, which can infect people who drink from stagnant water sources.
The worm, which can cause serious illness, has nearly disappeared also
thanks to the larvicide Abate (page 44). This is one of the many BASF products
that improve peoples quality of life, demonstrating howWe createchemistry
for a sustainable future.

By the way, our magazine Creating Chemistry is now also available online
fordesktop computers, tablets and smartphones. This makes reading our
magazine convenient, whether you are at home or on the move.

I hope you enjoy diving into this issue.


Dr. Kurt Bock

Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors

Creating Chemistry | 3

The Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) based on nanotechnology
have the potential to reduce energy consumption by as much as
50% compared to todays energy-saving light bulbs.1

See Nanotechnology a science under discussion

Quality of life

1 millionth
of amillimeter
A nanometer is just one-millionth
of a millimeter. The size of a nanoparticle
compared to a soccer ball is like the size
of a soccer ball compared to the Earth.

Food and nutrition

$267 million*
99% In Colombia alone, the cost of treating
the neglected tropical disease Chagas is
$267million per year. Using targeted
Thanks to a development aid project spearheaded
insecticides to control the insects that
by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, the spread the disease would cost $5 million. 3
potentially deadly Guinea worm disease could
soon be eradicated. The number of cases of the
disease, previously 3.5 million per year, has fallen
by more than 99% since 1986.2
See Shining a light on hidden diseases
onpage 44.

* In this issue, the $ symbol always refers to U.S. dollars. The conversion of euros to U.S. dollars
is based on the average exchange rate onDecember 31, 2012, when 1 cost $1.32.

4 | Creating Chemistry
Food and nutrition
30 billion metric tons
More than 30 billion metric tons of CO2 are produced by humans
worldwide each year.4

See CO 2 from exhaust gas to raw material on page 50.

Producing one kilogram of beef

releases 36 kilograms of CO2 and
has nearly the same impact on the
environment as driving acar for

Quality of life
environment and climate
0.4% According to the 70:20:10 model, 70% of all learning
results from on-the-job experience, 20% is due to
110 million metric tons of CO 2 , interactions with others and only 10% results from
or 0.4% of global CO 2 emissions, formal training oreducation.9
are used by industry each year
as chemical feedstock. 5

8.3 million
In Europe, the number of workers retiring currently
exceeds the number joining the workforce by

July 28, 2010

200,000. This labor gap is expected to grow
to8.3million people by 2030.10
This was the day the United Nations explicitly
Ratio of pensioners to the labor force
recognized the human right to clean drinking
inOECD* countries11
waterand sanitation.6
See The thirst of cities on page 8. 2050 * The OECD
2025 Co-operation
2010 includes 34 member
countries from
around the world
1980 which are committed
. to democracy and
1950 market economies.
environment and climate

2060 Resources, environment and climate

By 2060, Singapore wants to meet
up to 55% of its water demand with
wastewater purified to bring it up
to drinking water quality.7 By 2025, 14% of the worlds population that is
1.1billionpeople will get their drinking water
fromtheseas. Currently, around 72 million
peopledo so, or 1% ofthe global population.12

2013 2025

1% 14%
1. VCI (German Chemical Industry Association), The Chemical Industrys Contribution to Climate Protection and the

768 million
Energy Turnaround (Beitrge der chemischen Industrie zum Klimaschutz und zur Energiewende), May 15, 2013;
2. The Carter Center; 3. World Health Organization (WHO); 4. German Federal Ministry of Education and Research,
Technologies for Sustainability and Climate Protection Chemical Processes and Use of CO2, May 2013; 5. German
Chemical Society (GDCh), News from Chemistry (Nachrichten aus der Chemie), Issue 58, December 2010; 768 million people do not have access
6. United Nations; 7. Singapores national water agency PUB; 8. Spiegel Online, Climate Footprint: One Kilogram of
Meat Causes 36 Kilograms of Carbon Dioxide (Klimabilanz: Ein Kilo Fleisch verursacht 36 Kilogramm Kohlendioxid), to clean drinking water. In addition,
July 19, 2007; 9. Michael M. Lombardo / Robert W. Eichinger, The Career Architect Development Planner, 2000; nearly 2.5 billion people lack adequate
10. Ernst & Young, Tracking Global Trends, 2011; 11. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD), Pensions at a Glance 2011. Retirement-Income Systems in OECD and G20 Countries, March 17, 2011; sanitation facilities.13
12. Global Water Intelligence (GWI); 13. UNICEF

Creating Chemistry | 5

The bridge builder

Israel is a country riven with social and economic differences. But an education
fund set up by the entrepreneur Benny Landa and his wife Patsy aims to
bringabout positive change. By offering underprivileged young people the
chance to study, Landa hopes to foster greater understanding among the
different communities that make up this vibrant land.

visionary inventor that was remarkable for the time through the fund thus far, and their Milestones of Benny
who holds more than because it captured images directly commitment is ongoing. The fund Landas career
700 patents, Benny on paper, rather than film giving also sponsors non-governmental
Landa loves the tiny the young Benny a life-long appetite organizations including Merchavin 1946
details that go into forinnovation. (open spaces), which promotes Benny Landa is born in Wrocaw,
achieving big things. values of shared citizenship and runs Poland.
A new printing process devised by his One country, two societies the funds Arabic teaching program,
company, Landa Corporation, uses After studying in Israel and England, and Kav Mashveh (equalizing line), 1971
ink made of pigment particles only a Landa left Canada with his wife Patsy a professional placement program for He co-founds the company Imaging
few nanometers across compared and moved to Israel permanently in Israeli Arab university graduates. To Technology (Imtec) located in the
to around 100,000 for a human hair. 1974. For many years, Landa says he date, the funds activities have enabled United Kingdom.
This nanotechnology printing stands was so deeply immersed in running thousands of talented, underprivileged
to be as revolutionary as digital offset his business, Indigo, that he did not youth to get university degrees. 1977
color printing, something Landas think about much else. When I sold Internationally, Israel enjoys Landa founds Indigo in Rehovot,
first company, Indigo, pioneered in the business to Hewlett-Packard in the reputation of an economic Israel. The company develops
the1990s. 2002, I finally got my head above powerhouse with a well-trained andmanufactures digital offset
When he is not fine-tuning systems water and was actually quite shocked workforce and vibrant start-up printing presses.
in Landa Corporations high-tech by what I saw an Israeli society culture. But when Landa took a
compound near Tel Aviv, the restless with great social injustices, great closer look, he discovered a tale of 1994
entrepreneur pursues a very different inequalities, he says. two societies. Part of Israel is like Indigo is listed on NASDAQ.
big dream: the bridging of socio- The very same year, Landa and Denmark very advanced, well-
economic gaps in Israeli society. his wife founded the Landa Fund educated, a high GDP per capita and 2002
When you grow up poor like I did, it for Equal Opportunity Through a high standard of living. But we have Hewlett-Packard acquires Indigo.
has a profound effect on you, says Education, which channels a a second economy which is more like Landa Corporation and the Landa
the Canadian-bred Landa. You yearly donation through Israels El Salvador poor, large families, less Fund for Equal Opportunity
appreciate the contrast between seven universities and a number of education and a much lower income. Through Education are founded.
having the freedom to do things, non-profit organizations. The fund Statistics confirm that most of
andhaving to make do. aims to narrow socio-economic the disadvantaged citizens are Israeli 2012
Born to Holocaust survivorsin gaps by helping young people with Arabs, who make up one-fifth of the Landa unveils his nanographic
Wrocaw, Poland, after the end of the privileged minds and underprivileged countrys population, and immigrants printing systems at drupa trade fair.
Second World War, Landa emigrated means get a higher education. In so from countries as diverse as Russia
with his parents to Edmonton,Canada, doing, it also aims to promote civic and Ethiopia. This situation is not
in 1948. His father, a carpenter, equality between Israels Jewish and sustainable. No country can leave
boughta tobacco shop and addeda Arabcitizens. large segments of its own society
little studio to make passportphotos. Benny Landa and his wife behind, Landa adds.
It was equipped with acamera have expended about $50 million Under the Landa Fund programs,

6 | Creating Chemistry
BASF Stiftung improves
business perspectives for
Africas youth

Benny Landa changed the course

Sun-kissed Kenya boasts some
ofthe printing industry in 1993 with
theworlds first digital color printing of East Africas most gorgeous
press and is now bringing about a landscape. The economy, on
second revolution in the form of the other hand, is failing to live
Nanography. A man with a strong
up to its potential. A staggering
pioneering spirit and vision, he
alsoaims to improve thelives of 80% of all those unemployed
underprivileged young people in Israel. are young people aged between
15and 34, according to a recent
UNDevelopment Programme
each participating university is Sharing culture and values Better education is part of the
required to track students, report Landa is ambitious in his aims and, solution. A joint project, Student
how they do compared to others, although the fund has attracted much We dont call it Training for Entrepreneurial
and to monitor the drop-outs. The
institutions that get the best results
praise, he is still not satisfied with
its achievements. He is therefore
philanthropy. Promotion (STEP), teaches
aspiring entrepreneurs how to
are rewarded with greater resources. broadening its focus to include Wecall it social start and run their own business.
We run it like an investment, in every
way, Landa says. Overall, the results
existential and cultural gaps
between Israeli Arabs and Jews.
investment. The The initiative is supported by the
German Commission for UNESCO,
have been outstanding with most Through Technion, the prestigious payback isnt in the University of Lneburg,
students on the roster performing
above the scholastic average.
Israel Institute of Technology, the
Landa Equal Opportunities Project
dollars or euros, Germany, and BASF Stiftung, a
charitable foundation based in
provides health services as well as itsin intangibles, Ludwigshafen,Germany.
Social investment
We dont call it philanthropy. We
academic preparation to Israeli Arab
high school students in the north.
but its the best Last year, more than
200students at Kenyatta University
callit social investment, says Landa. The fund also sponsors programs investment in town. in the capital, Nairobi, took
The payback isnt in dollars or euros, to teach Israeli children Arabic. Benny Landa, entrepreneur and STEP courses in management,
its in intangibles, but its the best Landa reasons that only if you speak founder of the Landa Fund for Equal accounting, marketing and
investment in town. the same language can you grasp Opportunity Through Education business law. Similar training was
It has, for example, changed the the culture and values of others given to 200 students in Uganda.
life of Mahmud Mahamid, an Israeli something that will foster compassion It is impressive to see how
Arab studying materials engineering and understanding between the much energy and creativity the
at Ben-Gurion University, who at countrys Jews and Arabs. students put into their business,
one time could not even afford the Many people think the biggest says Peter van den Hoek,
bus fare to school. Luana Gutman, threat to Israel is exogenous. I ManagingDirector of BASF
aRussian Jewish immigrant enrolled dont think that at all, says Landa. East Africa in Nairobi. This
in medical laboratory sciences, Societies fragment from a lack entrepreneurial spirit will ensure
endured great personal privation of equal opportunity, not from an markets continue to develop in
before winning a Landa scholarship. outside threat. Africa. In future, universities in
For these kids, its like a gift of Kenya and Uganda will conduct
life, enthuses Landa. They are so theprogram themselves.
motivated to show that the faith we
have in them is well-placed.

To find out more, visit:

Creating Chemistry | 7
Cover story: The issue

Singapores successful
model: The modern island
state is a leader in terms
ofwater treatment and

8 | Creating Chemistry
The thirst
of cities
Big cities around the world are facing enormous challenges
as new residents stream into these metropolitan areas every
day on the wave of global urbanization. But the existing
infrastructure for water and sewage is often already at its
limits. How can cities quench their growing thirst?

Creating Chemistry | 9
Cover story: The issue

ecessity is the mother that their residents will have sufficient In many places, water Desalination of seawater is a popular
of invention and, after water for drinking, cooking, washing consumption is already growing option for coastal cities around
years of drought, the and hygiene ten, 20 or 50years from faster than the available resources the world. One example can be
Californian city of San now? Water is also a safety issue can supply. Falling groundwater found in the town of Nungua, about
Diego was certainly in because it is needed to put out fires. levels, empty riverbeds, dried-up 12kilometers from the Ghanaian
need. Between 1900 In addition, water is necessary for reservoirs water shortages are capital of Accra. Once completed
and 1916, barely a drop of rain fell industrial uses, such as producing increasingly making the headlines, in 2014, a desalination plant under
in the city and the municipal water goods or operating machines and and it is no longer just a phenomenon construction there should produce
reservoirs were almost empty. In plants. Without functioning water seen in drought-prone countries. enough drinking water for around
desperation, the city council offered and sewage systems, economic Even urbanites in industrialized half a million people each day. The
the rainmaker Charles Hatfield development can be jeopardized. countries are experiencing water plant will also be using ultrafiltration
$10,000 if he could get the clouds to It isestimated that cities are shortages. Following two unusually technology from inge, a Bavarian
shed their tears with his rainmaking responsible for 80% ofglobal dry years, strict water-saving subsidiary ofBASF (see box on
method. He started work in January economic growth, so urban water measures were imposed in some page25).
1916 and soon thereafter the city deficits come at a very high cost. For areas of Great Britain in the spring of According to forecasts by the
experienced one of its worst floods of example, growing water problems 2012. Watering the lawn or washing industry specialist Global Water
the 20th century. Facing death threats, are costing China around 2.3% of its a car using a hose were punishable Intelligence (GWI), 14% of the worlds
Hatfield left the city and the council annual gross domestic product, as a by a fine; in London, the fountains population will be meeting its water
began looking for other sources of study published in 2007by the World were turned off. And after a long needs through seawater desalination
water. In late 1946, San Diego joined Bank revealed. dry period, in 2008, Barcelona even in 2025. Today this figure is only 1%;
the Metropolitan Water District of This is an immense challenge. had to import tankers full of drinking 17,000 plants have been installed
Southern California and, in so doing, We are at risk of losing the fight water. This measure was expensive in 120 countries. The number of
gained access to the Colorado River. for access to water and sanitation and not good for the citys image. plants is expected to multiply by
Since then, expensive water facilities in many cities, water According to critics, it was necessary 2050, the GWI experts predict.
imports have been the main pillar expert Anders Berntell warned because the city had failed to The projects are already being
of San Diegos water management, participants at the World Water Week increase its water supply capacities constructed on a gigantic scale.
according to the authors of a recent in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2011. More quickly enough to keep up with the For example, a plant that recently
U.S. study*. Four-fifths of the citys than half of the Earths population sharp growth in population. started operations in Melbourne,
water comes from the Colorado already lives in urban metropolitan Australia, can supply around
River and the Bay-Delta; the water areas; by the middle of the century, Seawater: the source of the future 440,000 cubic meters of desalinated
is transported into the city through this figure will be 70%. Around One year later, a seawater water daily. But desalination has
aqueducts. The consequences 9.6billion people are expected to live desalination plant was inaugurated its price: Despite great strides in
of this strong dependency are on this planet by then, according to in nearby El Prat de Llobregat. With technology, desalinated seawater is
alreadyforeseeable. estimates from the United Nations a daily capacity of 200,000 cubic still a comparatively expensive and
(U.N.). Strong growth will especially meters, it should be able to meet energy-intensive option compared
Impediment to growth be seen in the cities of India, China, the drinking water needs of about to conventionally abstracted
Where will cities draw their water from Nigeria, the United States and one-quarter of the population of drinkingwater.
in the future? How can cities ensure Indonesia, the U.N. says. the Barcelona metropolitan region.

These three cities are leading the way toward water systems of the future
Phnom Penh, Cambodia Lima, Peru City-state Singapore
Average rainfall: 1,300 millimeters per year; Average rainfall: less than 15 millimeters per Average rainfall: 2,400 millimeters per year;
population: 1.5 million; daily water year; population: 8.5 million; daily water population: 5.3 million; daily water
consumption per person: 108 liters consumption per person: 250 liters consumption per person: 152 liters

When Ek Sonn Chan was appointed general More than one million residents of Lima, the Although Singapore is surrounded by water,
director of the Phnom Penh Water Supply capital city of Peru, have no access to clean drinking water here is scarce. The water issue
Authority in 1993, he encountered a sobering drinking water. The Rmac, a river that flows from was therefore declared a priority as early as the
situation: The utility company was only able to the Andes, has long been the main source of the 1960s. Singapores creative methods of handling
supply 65,000 cubic meters of water daily not citys water supply. Now the city wants to create this resource can be seen in the NEWater visitor
even half of its actual capacity. The pipeline new reservoirs. Since 2012, the Huascacocha center located at Marina Barrage. Completed
system was dilapidated, corruption was rampant reservoir, located around 100 kilometers from in2008, Marina Barrage was designed as a
and more than 70% of the water was not the megacity, has been delivering 273,000 cubic reservoir for rainwater and has now become an
generating any revenue. Because water was meters of water per day to Lima. It is part of a important source of drinking water. Singapores
leaking from the system, people were tapping into modernization program started in 2009 by the national water agency PUB takes a four-pronged
the pipelines illegally and invoices were simply water utility Sedapal. The utility also plans to invest approach to water management: precipitation
not being paid, the water authority had barely a total of $1.5 billion (1.1billion) in projects such water, wastewater recycling, seawater desalination
any income. With international support, Chan as desalination plants, additional reservoirs in the and water imports from Malaysia. The gem
successfully updated the technical infrastructure Andes and transferring water from neighboring among these is the recycling program for urban
and introduced modern management practices. catchment areas into the Rmac. Sedapal is also wastewater, known as NEWater. It is treated in
Today every household has access to clean water. trying to limit water wastage. Currently, up to 45% athree-stage process which results in water that
Water meters have been installed throughout the of water in Lima is lost through leaky pipes. Water is of even better quality than the normal drinking
city and the pipes are inspected regularly. The meters are being installed so administrative losses water, according to PUB. With a capacity of
water utility, which has now become a joint stock can be discovered and reduced. The meters will 273,000 cubic meters per day, NEWater now
company, generates a profit every year. For these also give Lima residents a clear picture of the value meets about 30% of the urban water demand.
reforms, Ek Sonn Chan and his team won the of water because, with a consumption rate of By2060, this share should rise as high as 55%.
2010 Stockholm Industry Water Award from the 250 liters per capita each day, they are at the top Furthermore, conservation initiatives encourage
Stockholm Water Foundation. end of the scale of global water consumption. residents to save water.

10 | Creating Chemistry
Desalination of
seawater is a
popular option
forcoastal cities
around the world.

Right Desalinated seawater from

plantslike this one in Cyprus could be
providing water for 14% of the worlds
population in 2025, according to

* Brian D. Richter et al., Tapped Out: How

Can Cities Secure Their Water Future?,
Water Policy, 2013.

Wasteful water consumption heavy rains. The city wants to solve tower holds around 2,600 cubic contaminated, according to a recent
This is one more reason to use this flooding problem with the major meters of water. It is fed by rainwater, study by the China Geological
water carefully, but many cities project Tnel Emisor Oriente. which is used to cool the solar panels Survey. An analysis of 118 Chinese
are far from achieving that. Some Costing $1.2 billion (0.9 billion), this on the roof and flush the toilets; it cities also found that 64% of the
water companies postpone repairs. 62 kilometer-long wastewater tunnel also helps provide emergency flood water sources were heavily
Instead of fixing leaks, they only with a diameter of 7 meters should control during heavy rains. polluted, while 33% were mildly
take action when pipes break. As a be completed in 2016. Although a polluted and only 3% fell under the
result, millions and millions of liters of local environmental organization, Isla Contaminated land and rivers category of sanitary.
drinking water trickle away without Urbana, has recommended using The dirty truth about the oftentimes
being used. A vivid illustration of the rainwater as well, city planners have all too careless and thoughtless Closing the materials loop
consequences of overly wasteful not been receptive to this idea so far. management of water is especially According to international water
water consumption can be found in In cities in Southeast Asia in apparent when it comes to the issue expert Professor Asit Biswas,
Mexico City, a metropolis of millions particular, rainwater harvesting is of wastewater. Worldwide, 80% of Ph.D., the real issue is not that
which is gaining around 300,000 new well established and this practice is urban wastewater is released directly there is not enough water, it is the
residents every year. After decades also advocated by UN-HABITAT, the into rivers, lakes or the sea without poor quality of available resources.
of overexploitation of its groundwater, United Nations Human Settlements being treated even in London, The main problem is not physical
the city is sinking the historical city Programme. In addition to Singapore, where millions of liters of untreated scarcity of water, but its continued
center is now approximately one of the most popular examples wastewater flow into the Thames mismanagement! Unless water
9 meters lower than it was in 1900. of this can be found in the Sumida during rainy weeks because the management can be improved
Around 62,000 liters of drinking district of Tokyo. For more than two capacities of the treatment plants significantly, the worlds water
water are consumed in the Mexican decades, municipal policy here has are overwhelmed. The situation is problem cannot be solved, says
capital every second. As much as supported the collection and reuse particularly dramatic in the cities in thefounder of the Third World Centre
40% of this amount is lost through of rainwater. Residents can get emerging and developing countries. for Water Management in Mexico.
the antiquated water pipes. And this subsidies for constructing rainwater In Buenos Aires, for example, the Traditional water use models
is water that has first been pumped storage tanks. Some city buildings, rivers are very polluted; in Kolkata, lead to water shortages, says Dr.
from as far as 300 meters below the such as the Tokyo Skytree which India, the population is struggling Max Maurer, a professor for urban
citys surface, or transported from opened in 2012 and, at 634 meters with fecal contamination and an water systems at the Institute of
200 kilometers away and over high, is the second-tallest building elevated concentration of arsenic Environmental Engineering at the
1,100 meters of altitude difference. in the world contain cisterns with in the groundwater. The situation Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
On the other hand, entire city filters in the lower basement levels. in China is also alarming: 90% Zurich (ETH). The traditional European
neighborhoods are flooded during The water tank in the new broadcast of the groundwater in cities is model of collecting all wastewater,>>

Creating Chemistry | 11
Cover story: The issue

includingrainwater, in a sewage Water recycling gains popularity has one of the lowest rates of Singapores national water agency
system and then processing it in a Good water management conserves precipitation in the world. Recycled PUB: In order to be a sustainable
wastewater treatment plant is not a resources and is ecological. It wastewater here is primarily used city, we always have to be forward-
global solution, he believes. We have seems this message is finally getting for irrigation in parks and green looking, visionary and bold thinkers.
to work on creating overall systems through albeit slowly. Experts areas. Some 24,000 cubic meters We need innovations, not only in
that are effective and flexible at the believe that tapping new water of water are recycled using BASFs technology, but also with regard
same time. Sewers are a perfect sources is important, but even more ultrafiltration technology each day at to how we approach integrated
solution for the inner city, but it is also potential exists in water recycling. the recently completed Doha North watermanagement.
important to develop alternatives that One of the pioneers in this area is Sewage Treatment Works.
work on the outskirtsof cities, in the Singapore. By 2060, the island state
slums, Maurer says. wants to meet up to 55% of its water Interdisciplinary thinking
A great example of this was the demand with NEWater wastewater Clean drinking water, proper
2011 Reinvent the Toilet Challenge that has been treated to bring it up sanitation facilities and wastewater
issued to universities by the Bill & to drinking waterquality (see box on treatment plants will be essential to
Melinda Gates Foundation, he adds. page 10). the future of cities. Solving urban
Around 2.1 billion urban dwellers The London-based utility Thames water problems will require thinking
worldwide currently have no access to Water is also considering recycling outside the box and this is where
hygienic sanitary facilities, according wastewater into drinking water and many fail. The lack of willingness to
to the foundation. The challenge in is conducting a survey to test the think and act in an interdisciplinary
this competition was to design toilets publics receptiveness to this idea. way is one of the main hurdles in
that could capture and process Widespread acceptance of such water management, according to
human waste without piped water, a program is necessary, as was one of the conclusions of the Switch
sewer or electrical connections, and demonstrated a few years ago in project, which was sponsored by the
transform human waste into useful Brisbane, Australia. The city was E.U. and involved 30 cities worldwide
resources, while keeping costs set to add recycled wastewater to over a period of five years. A change
below 5U.S.cents per user per day. its drinking water supply, but had to of perspective is needed. Wastewater
The Peepoo single-use toilet, for backtrack because the population should be seen as a valuable
example, is a similar solution (see simply could not be convinced that resource rather than a problem and,
box on page13). Maurer stresses the water was pure enough to drink. as in Singapore, water reservoirs
it will be ahuge advance if we are The same sort of problems should be integrated into the urban
able to break the link between the should not be an issue for the water fabric in a way that also allows them
toilet and water consumption, and recycling strategy in the emirate of to serve as a recreational area for
process the waste materials to create Qatar, which is set to host the residents. This was also illustrated
valuablegoods. soccer World Cup in 2022 and by Khoo Teng Chye, former CEO of

12 | Creating Chemistry
Water-saving tips
Teeth brushing Shower instead of bath
If you leave the water running while Taking a bath uses about 80 liters of water,
brushing your teeth, you could be wasting while a short shower only requires one-third
up to 17 liters of water per minute. By as much.
using a cup of water to brush your teeth
instead, you can reduce your water Faucets, shower head
consumption to just 0.2 liters. A faucet aerator in the bathroom and
kitchen can reduce water flows. It mixes
Drips add up air into the water stream, changing the
A dripping faucet loses about 5,500liters perceived strength of the water flow. This
of water per year. cuts water consumption to between
5 and 6 liters per minute.
Toilet flushing
Around 12 liters of water are used to flush Harvest rainwater
a toilet. A dual-flush toilet can reduce this Collecting rainwater and using this to water
figure to between 3 and 6 liters. If you do your garden can be a huge water saver. An
not want to convert your toilet, you can also added benefit: The low lime content of the
place a plastic bottle filled with stones and rainwater is good for the plants.
water into the toilet tank by lowering the
amount of water in the tank, this reduces Car washing
the water consumption per flush by as Washing a car with a hose uses around
much as 2 liters. 150 liters of drinking water. Using a bucket
and sponge saves water.
Washing machine
Only turn on the machine when it is
completely full. Avoid the pre-wash cycle,
which is often unnecessary, and use the
energy-saving mode to reduce water and
energy consumption.


Better hygiene thanks to Peepoo

Above left Singapores improvements
towater infrastructure also create a
high-quality public recreational space.

Right Peepoo is an inexpensive and urine and feces. Ammonia destroys the dangerous
germ-free single-use alternative to disease-causing bacteria within just a few days and
the flush toilet. Peepoo was developed accelerates decomposition. Peepoo disintegrates
by Professor Anders Wilhelmson,
within a few months, leaving behind valuable
a Swedish architect.
nitrogen fertilizer a rare commodity in Africa.
The single-use toilets have been distributed
following natural disasters, such as the
earthquake in Haiti in 2010, with the help of
aid organizations. They are also being used in
Kenya and Pakistan. The company Peepoople
was established to produce and distribute this
solution, which improves hygiene and protects
the limited local drinking water resources from
becoming contaminated. For users, the costs are
As cities in developing countries grow, diseases barely more than the equivalent of 3 euro cents
can spread quickly because people in the per toilet. In most cases, public toilets are more
sprawling slums have no access to toilets. But expensive and dirtier. It makes things especially
help can be found in the form of a small toilet. easier for women who lack toilet facilities in
Professor Anders Wilhelmson, a Swedish their home and have to make a long and often
architect and urban planner, has developed a dangerous journey at night away from their
simple alternative to the flush toilet: Peepoo, a settlements. Those who return the used Peepoo
single-use toilet in the shape of a bag. to a collection point receive approximately one
When unfolded, Peepoo measures 14 by euro cent back. Thanks to donations, the single-
38centimeters and therefore fits atop all standard use toilets have been distributed to more than
buckets. After being used, Peepoos are collected 60schools.
at a central location and then both the toilet and the Wilhelmson wants to continue to expand this
content are composted. Peepoo is made mainly project. His goal is to have 150 million people
of the biodegradable plastic ecovio, developed using Peepoo every day and for Peepoople to
by BASF. Peepoo also contains urea, which turns become what could be described as the Google
into ammonia when it comes into contact with of sanitation.

Creating Chemistry | 13
Cover story: The graphic

Water availability and water use worldwide

drop 2,470 m3

Average volume of
water available per
capita per year in

13,400 m3

Average volume of
wateravailable per
capitaper year in
theUnited States

Drinking water is vital to life. But drinkable freshwater reserves are not
distributed evenly around the world. And they are becoming scarcer. 7,200 m3
Average volume of
This graphic shows where people are suffering from acute water water available per
shortages and where people consume the most water. capita per year in


Although 71% of the Earths surface is covered with water, drinking water is a scarce
resource because 97% of the water on this planet is saltwater from the seas. The
remaining 3% that is freshwater is mostly frozen as a permanent layer of snow and Total water use
ice in glaciers or encased deep under the Earths surface. Therefore, only 0.5% of
the total water volume is accessible drinking water. Areas of high water stress

Worldwide water abstraction by sector Water use* by the BASF Group 2012

Million cubic meters

Private households 11% per year

88% Cooling
Industry 19%
Closed-circuit cooling 4,044
Flow cooling 1,706
Agriculture 70%

The BASF Group
accounts for 0.29% Production 249
ofglobal industrial
Total (rounded): 5,998
Total worldwide water abstraction

3,862,000 million cubic meters

per year
* As much water as possible is reused in closed circuits.
This means less water has to be abstracted.

14 | Creating Chemistry
4,740 m3
Average volumeof
water available per
capita per year in

2,970 m3
Average volume of
water available per
. capita per year in
Asia Pacific

1,000 m3 500 m3
Average volume of Average volume of
water available per water available per
capita per year in capita per year in
Sub-Saharan Africa theArab world

Total water use per country

Scale of the graphic
761,000 million m3/year

427,000 million m3/year

1,150 m3
What are water stress areas? Average volumeof
Water stress areas are regions where water is a 189,000 million m3/year water available per
scarce resource and where more than 60% of capita per year in
the available water is abstracted by humans. The Australia
mostimportant factors leading to water scarcity 46,000 million m3/year
are: low precipitation, high temperatures, low air
humidity, unfavorable soil properties and high <1,000 million m3/year
water abstraction rates.

BASFs 2020 water goals Water scarcity and water stress in 2050
Number of people affected
2010 2050
Less drinking water Sustainable water
in production processes management in water 397 million Water scarcity 2.1 billion

(baseline year 2010) stressareas 1.6 billion Water stress 2.0 billion

50% 100%
2.0 billion Total 4.1 billion

Lower emissions Sources:; Areas With High Water Stress, changed according to:
We want to reduce our emissions to water of organic Pfister et al., 2009; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Water
Use by Sector and Source, Aquastat online database, 2010; UNESCO, United Nations
substances and nitrogen by 80% and of heavy metals World Water Development Report Water for People, Water for Life, 2003; FAO, Water
Availability by Region, Aquastat, 2013; Population Action International, An Update
by60% (baseline year 2002). People in the Balance: Population and Natural Resources, 2012

Creating Chemistry | 15
Cover story: The expert

In water
the glass is
always half full.
It is true that we
face a lot of floods
and droughts, but
we have some
examples of good
adaptive practices.
Professor John Briscoe, Ph.D.,
DirectoroftheHarvard Water SecurityInitiative

16 | Creating Chemistry
A world of water
As the global population increases and the impact of climate change
is being felt, concerns are rising about how sustainable our future
water supplies will be. Former water advisor to the World Bank,
Professor John Briscoe, Ph.D., explains that by investing in innovation,
smart infrastructure and good institutions, we can be prepared to
deal with thesechanges.

John Briscoe Creating Chemistry: You have discipline but capable of dealing with done a brilliant job with managing
dedicated most of your career to other disciplines. The second issue floods. We have a lot of practical,
Professor John Briscoe, Ph.D., is water. What sparked your initial is that in the water world there is a field-tested knowledge of what
a South African who is one of the interest in this resource? great disconnect between the high- works. As a practitioner, my view is
worlds leading experts on water Professor John Briscoe, Ph.D.: thinkers and the practical reality. So that too much attention is given to
management, having worked Very simple, I am from South Africa the second bumper sticker is to link producing colored graphs about how
for 40 years in the field of water and grew up in a country in which students with thinking practitioners. the world is going to be a catastrophe
and economic development. He the rain falls on the coast and God We also work primarily in places in 2080 and far too little attention is
most recently served as the World put the diamonds and the gold a where I have decades of hands-on given to recognizing that hydrological
Banks senior water advisor and as long way from the rain and in a big experience and so focus on just variability is a long-established
country director for Brazil. During rain shadow. The country subsists four geographies Brazil, Australia, fact of life and that our first focus
nearly 25 years at the World Bank on very large hydraulic programs to Pakistan and the Mississippi. should be on creating resilience to
he lived in India and Brazil. He has move water from where it is, to where known variability. Those who have
in the past worked as an engineer the people and the economy are. I The planets population is dealt with known variability are
in the water agencies of South grew up with a sense of the value of growing as we experience much better equipped to manage
Africa and Mozambique and as water and the threat of water scarcity, the impact of climate change avariety of unknowns, be it climate
an epidemiologist at the Cholera so in that sense it is very visceral for with flooding in Pakistan, orothershocks.
Research Center in Bangladesh. me. I studied civil engineering in Cape drought in Australia, shifts
He is currently the Gordon Town and I discovered that water is in Indian monsoon patterns Populations are increasingly
McKay Professor of the practice such an amazing subject. You have to and the potential filling of concentrating in cities. What
of environmental engineering at know engineering; you have to know Cypruss exhausted aquifers challenge does this pose to the
the Harvard School of Engineering finance, economics, public health, with saltwater. How serious a delivery of sustainable urban
and Applied Sciences. He is also religion and politics. It is a great area situation doyou think we are in? water supplies?
director of the Harvard Water for people who have a wide range First of all, when dealing with I dont see urbanization as an
Security Initiative, a body that has of intellectual interests, which is my water there is no we, every water insurmountable problem. Yes, of
formed collaborative partnerships case. It has been my privilege to live situation is local. The water situation course, there are many problems,
with eminent universities in in Bangladesh, Mozambique, India in Massachusetts and the one in but they are no worse than they
Australia, Brazil, Pakistan and the and Brazil and work in dozens of California are essentially independent have ever been. London in the
United States to help develop a other countries on these issues over problems. There is thus no world 1850s was not a lovely bucolic city
secure and sustainable platform of the last 40 years. I now feel like I water crisis. There are a multitude in which to live. In most instances
water institutions and infrastructure. know 10% of what I need to know! of local issues, each one with quite things are getting better. A critical
distinct characteristics. issue, however, is the availability
You are now director of the Secondly, we have always had of resources. It is much easier to
Harvard Water Security droughts and floods; they are biblical address the problem of flooding in,
Initiative, a cross-disciplinary and they did not start in 1997. say, New York or Shanghai than it is
research program that you set Climate change certainly adds an in, say, Lagos or Kolkata. So while
up within the Harvard School element of uncertainty. The recent we do need to be more proactive and
of Engineering and Applied floods in Europe is that a climate adaptive in all cities, in the developing
Sciences. What are its aims? event? Probably in part so, but it is world a primary focus must remain
There are two main bumper stickers much more definitively a land use economic growth and the enhanced
for the program. The first is to create issue, which is a consequence of the productivity of cities.
a new type of professional for modern occupation of floodplains.
water management. In dealing with Thirdly, in water the glass is How do we deal with the 10% of
water you need good engineers, always half full. It is true that we the worlds population who lack
good lawyers, good economists, face a lot of floods and droughts, access to safe water?
good agronomists and good energy but we have some examples of It is important to recognize the
people. You need specialists who can good adaptive practices. To cite extraordinary progress that has
communicate with other specialists. just two examples where we work, been made on this challenge. Over
So the first bumper sticker is to train Australia is the best in the world at the past 20 years, every single day
a new generation of specialized dealing with water shortage and the about 280,000 people have obtained
integrators, strong in their basic Mississippi River Commission has access to an adequate supply >>

Creating Chemistry | 17
Cover story: The expert

Water supply and sanitation are pieces

ofa bigger picture and you cannot solve
them without addressing that.
Professor John Briscoe, Ph.D.,
Director of the Harvard Water SecurityInitiative

of drinking water for the first time. pesticide and water more efficiently. a form of colonialism at worst and Access to water has always been
Almost all of this progress has been This is absolutely central. Among moral hazard at best. Developing a source of possible conflict
the result of economic growth. Poor the tools for achieving this must be countries have a straightforward view between communities. How big a
people dont have many things, genetically modified organisms. The of development. They want to follow threat do water wars pose today?
such as jobs, transport, healthcare, European position on GMOs is, in my the path that now-rich countries have The word rivals comes from the
education or food. Water supply view, very harmful to the environment followed. For sure they want to learn Latin rivalis, which refers to someone
and sanitation are pieces of a bigger and to development. from mistakes that were made, but using the same river as another, so
picture and you cannot solve them The second area is treatment they are not willing to serve as guinea conflict over water has been going
without addressing that. Where technology. The most discussed pigs for rich peoples experiments on on for a while. But the simple fact
economies grow, there is broad is desalination, where, ironically, alternative paths. is that few wars have actually been
improvement and the water supply the technology has reached its fought over water. The idea that the
issue is solved as part of this. That is thermodynamic limit and there is How do you respond to critics of United States and Canada would go
how we in the developed world got likely to be little change. But through dams who claim they displace to war over water is absurd because
safe water. These are crippling issues the application of nanotechnology we populations, add to climate water is one of hundreds of issues
for poor people but they are not are now able to design membranes change and destroy down-river they deal with. If, on the other hand,
going to be solved without growth to meet very specific treatment ecosystems? you look at Pakistan and India, they
and sound financial policies. requirements. This means technology All big innovations have big upsides have very few ties that bind and thus
can be tailored to clean particular and big downsides. So it is with dams. a highly sensitive and political issue
Is there a role for business when types of wastewater in an effective Most large dams have brought great like water becomes one of the few
it comes to providing adequate way and reuse them. This is hugely benefits in terms of protection from issues on which the countries have
water management in the important and a chemical company floods and droughts, production of worked together. This is the case
developing world? like BASF has a tremendous role clean and cheap electricity and food with the Indus Basin, which is a very
In the developing world, a huge issue toplay. production. But there are downsides dangerous potential flashpoint.
is that the basics, such as a good Third, we need to use information too. One relates to the impacts on the
legal and regulatory framework and much more intensively and environment, which we are learning There have been great changes
good management capacity in the intelligently. The use of sensometers, to mitigate. In most of the developing in approach since you started
public sector, are not in place. If you remote sensing, big data analysis world, however, the big issue is working in water management
can get multinational companies and just-in-time delivery mechanisms resettlement. Changing where 40 years ago. What changes
to work with local companies and already play a fundamental role people live involuntarily is always do you expect to see 40 years
have them assist the government in in advanced water management traumatic. A great deal has been fromnow?
strengthening these core capabilities systems like in Australia and are of learned and much progress made in If we have economic growth then we
then this can make a tremendous great importance in most places. recent decades. The philosophy here will have a lot more ability to deal with
difference. Companies need to These innovations are central to us is that local people must be the first difficult problems. This is particularly
engage with political leaders and find adapting, so they are very important. beneficiaries from these projects and important for the still-poor parts of
ways in which they can support with there are cases of this working well. the world. I also hope we can act
money and knowledge the capacity What do you see as the role of
of governments to manage water hydroelectric power in meeting
more effectively. This is much more future energy needs?
important than the typical give a Hydro is almost always a source of
donation to an NGO approach of low-carbon energy. Rich countries
most companies. have used 80% of their economically
viable hydroelectric potential.
What sorts of innovations Switzerland, Norway, Japan, the
are needed to help achieve United States and Canada used
sustainable water management? hydro as a backbone of their
I see three main areas where economic development, and it
technologies can help. First, remains so to this day. The equivalent
remembering that 70% of water is number for Africa is 5%. Yet, well-
used in agriculture, a critical issue meaning people from rich countries
is that we need to use science and tell poor countries that they will not
innovation to produce the types of support hydro. This is deeply and, in
crops that can use less fertilizer, less my view, appropriately resented as

18 | Creating Chemistry
Above The Kuroyon Dam more intelligently. We know that What are the water issues where
in Kurobe, Japan, was built we can deal with extremes both you live today and how do you
between 1956 and 1963
floods and droughts better. Let me take care in the way you use Over the past 20 years, every single
toaddress the countrys
power shortages after the give you two examples where our water in your own daily life? day about 280,000 people have
Second World War. work at the Harvard Water Security I live in a small New England town of obtained access to an adequate supply
Initiative illustrates this: In Australia, 5,000 people in the United States. of drinking water for the first time.
Below left Worldwide,
there has been a 70% reduction in We live on a man-made pond and we

irrigation of agricultural
land accounts for 70% of water availability in the Murray Darling have a little dam down at the end and
all freshwater consumption. Basin over a period of eight years I am the dam master. The residents
and virtually no impact on agricultural love to have the pond full, but if there Murray Darling Basin in Australia
hasexperienced a 70% reduction in
value. The basic reason this worked is a lot of rain and it gets too full we
wateravailability. But as a result of
was because market mechanisms can lose our dam, so you have to well-functioning market mechanisms
meant that water moved voluntarily watch the level. My wife is a keen to move water usefrom low-value to
from low-value uses such as rice to observer and she says I think it is low high-value uses, therewas virtually
no impact on agriculturalvalue.
high-value uses such as fruits when enough now we can put the boards
water was scarce. On the flood side, back. We have a lot of fun managing
the Mississippi is a fascinating case.
Two years ago, they had the biggest
our own dam!
floods since 1927, which, at the time, Rich countries have used 80% of
theireconomically viable hydroelectric
had been the biggest natural disaster potential. The equivalent number for
in the history of the Unites States. In Africais 5%.
2011 when they had the floods, no
one in the United States knew it had
happened; the area submerged was
30% of what it was in 1927. In 2011,
not a drop of water went to a place
that was not designated to receive
this water. Lessons are learned and
are then put into practice. Again,
details will differ by place, but the To find out more, visit:
philosophy of making room for the http://watersecurityinitiative.seas.
river, building smart infrastructure
and good institutions is a constant.

Creating Chemistry | 19
Cover story: The reality

Left These students from

the Shri Venkataramana
Higher Primary School,
in the Indian city of
Mangalore, were among
the 5,000 school children
who took part in the
Water Education Project
set up in 2011 by BASF
Stiftung and UN-HABITAT.
BASF Stiftung is a
charitable foundation
based in Ludwigshafen,

Right As part of the

WaterEducation Project,
students from Shri
Venkataramana Higher
Primary School, with their
science teacher, test
water quality in the
reservoir near the BASF
site in Mangalore. Using a
water testing toolkit, they
test the physical, chemical
and biological parameters
of the water sample. The

Children are
reservoir, which holds
over25,000 cubic meters
of water, was built by
BASF on its premises to
store water from the

the agents
neighboring Netravati
River for industrial use.

of change
Water scarcity is a cause of concern to participate, involving a total of
in several states across India. 5,000 students. The schools were
Access to clean drinking water is given water testing kits and teachers
an additional challenge, especially and students were trained to use them
in rapidly developing cities like for monitoring water quality at their
Mangalore. Unclean water is one of sites. Eight of the project schools were
the main causes of disease. Lack of equipped with water laboratories to
clean sanitation can also be one of carry out water quality monitoring.
the reasons why children do not finish Water classrooms were established
their education. Girls, in particular, in two of the schools to educate the
are put off attending schools that lack students on the water cycle and water
private and decent toilet facilities. conservation methods. The goal was
To address these problems, to develop water quality maps so that
in May 2011 BASF Stiftung a any discrepancies could be reported
charitable foundation based in to the authorities.
Ludwigshafen, Germany together The project was comprehensive
with UN-HABITAT, the United Nations and integrated in its approach: from
Human Settlements Programme, installing water supply infrastructure
launched a special water education and providing education and training
project in Mangalore. The project to students, teachers and the local
was implemented by The Energy community, to sharing information
and Resources Institute (TERI) with the public and local authorities
and supported by BASF India. The and building cooperation between
aim of the project was to provide communities. The result: Children
sanitation facilities and, through water have a better chance of finishing their
education, to raise awareness among education in good health and the
the students and the community of progress that is made is sustainable
effective water-quality monitoring and over the long term. With this initial
conservation techniques. support, these communities can
Some 25 schools were selected now help themselves.

20 | Creating Chemistry
Creating Chemistry | 21
Cover story: The reality

Left The science teacher

explains the water testing
process to the students.
By educating pupils,
the Water Education
Project aims to provide
sustainable, long-term
improvements in water
quality for the local

Left The school students

use the water testing
By targeting school students and imparting toolkit to test for impurities
in well water drawn from
education on water, sanitation and hygiene, the school premises. One
of the projects aims is
we aim to influence the community members to raise the students
awareness of water and
to bring about a behavioral change in water sanitation issues and to

management. In this respect, the Water

bring about behavioral
change in the way they

Education Project will have long-lasting impact usewater.

on a large group of people in Mangalore.

Prasad Chandran,
Chairman, BASF companies in India & Head South Asia

Left Water laboratories

were installed in eight
of the schools that were
selected to participate
in the Water Education
Project. Equipped with
glassware, reagents,
apparatus and resource
materials on water
education, the labs
enable the students
to test drinking water
quality and to analyze
the physical and chemical
properties of water, as
well as track impurities
and acquire skills for
purifying water.

22 | Creating Chemistry
The Water Education
Project equipped students
to monitor waterquality in
their neighborhoods and
raised awareness in the
local community about
the careful use of this
natural resource.
Dr. Hartmut Unger,
Managing Director, BASF Stiftung

Above Many of the

students at Shri
Venkataramana Higher
Primary School come
from low and middle-
income families living
in the local community.
The school offers them
cultural, social, language
and environmental
education and also
provides them with lunch
every day.

Right The students help

spread the message
of effective water
management to the
community living around
the schools. Prominent
display boards remind
people to save water.
By raising awareness
and educating students
and the neighboring
community, the positive
impact of the project
is expanded.

Creating Chemistry | 23
Cover story: The science

The right
Although 71% of the Earths surface is covered with water, in many regions
water is scarce. In theory, existing freshwater supplies should be sufficient
to quench the thirst of the roughly 7 billion people living on this planet. But in
reality, these water resources are distributed unevenly and are in high demand:
More than two-thirds of global water supplies are used for agriculture and are
therefore no longer available as drinking water. As well, industry needs water for
Below Drinking water,
its production processes. So it is vitally important that this precious resource is process water and
wastewater: how an
not wasted. BASFs products contribute to efficient water use and the company efficient closed-loop
is developing solutions for the water supply of the future. water system works.


treatment plant






24 | Creating Chemistry
Ultrafiltration membranes all-rounders for water systems
Ultrafiltration membranes help us even pathogens get caught in this
to utilize a diverse range of water barrier. The BASF subsidiary inge
sources. Used, for example, to pre- produces ultrafiltration membranes
treat seawater before desalination, under the Multibore brand name
the extremely fine pores of the filter for a wide range of applications.
can separate out impurities, such BASF also uses these membrane
as algae, from the water. Used in modules. The core is made of BASFs
water treatment, they reliably filter high-performance Ultrason plastic.
out the tiniest microorganisms, This plastic is also contained in the
such as viruses and bacteria; this LifeStraw Family portable water
even makes it possible to turn purification system manufactured
wastewater into drinking water. byVestergaard Frandsen. Especially
The membranes work in a similar in areas with insufficient water
way to conventional filters. While supplies, LifeStraw helps to turn
water molecules can squeeze large quantities of contaminated
through the pores that are only a water for example, from puddles
few nanometers wide, suspended orrivers into drinkingwater.
solids like sand, clay, algae and

Above The small pores of the Multibore

membranes filter out viruses, bacteria
and other materials from water.

Drinking water vital to life agents such as the water-soluble phosphorus so they do not contribute recycling strategy and a cohesive
A lot of our drinking water comes polymer Sokalan from BASF are to algaegrowth. crisis management strategy to be
from groundwater or surface used. They comprise long polymer Accounting for around 20% inplace.
water sources. Before it flows to chains with a negatively charged of water use, industry and energy
households, this water is treated molecule strand. Due to the resulting companies are the second-biggest Wastewater
by waterworks, which de-acidify it electrical charge, they can dock consumers after agriculture. part of the watercycle
using activated carbon. However, onto the salt molecules, preventing Accordingly, BASF has set itself Every year, private households,
this process also oxidizes iron, crystals from growing or taking hold. ambitious goals for the responsible industry and businesses worldwide
creating tiny molecules that cannot The same principle is applied in use of this valuable resource (see generate more than 160 billion cubic
be filtered out of the water. Help reverse-osmosis desalination. In this graphic on page 15). This is especially meters of wastewater, which is sent to
comes in the form of flocculants such method of seawater desalination, true for the approximately 60 BASF treatment facilities. While more than
as Magnafloc LT from BASF. They saltwater is put under high pressure sites around one-fifth of the total 95% of the households in Germany
separate solid molecules from fluids using a strong pump; this forces the that are located in water stress areas. are connected to the public sewage
and thus help to remove the finely water through the reverse-osmosis One of these is the Tarragona site system, in India only 6% of the larger
distributed impurities from the water. membrane and leaves the salt in Spain, where BASF was the first cities even have a sewagenetwork.
In dry regions, the sea is also behind. chemical company to achieve gold- To treat sewage, flocculating
becoming an increasingly important level certification according to the agents such as BASFs Zetag are
source of water. Although the Process water European Water Stewardship (EWS) used. The long-chain molecules
volume of water available is almost the source ofproduction standard. With the help of the EWS unroll in water like a ball of wool and
unlimited, it has to undergo a Industry uses water as a cooling standard, companies and agricultural attract even the smallest particles
complex desalination process. agent, solvent and detergent, as operations can evaluate how of dirt, creating larger flakes that
Many seawater desalination plants well as to manufacture products. sustainably they use water resources. accumulate and can be filtered
operate using thermal techniques. In doing so, industrial companies For the certification of the Tarragona out of the water. This ultimately
Similarly to a kettle, the seawater is must overcome some of the same site, the third-party institute TV produces thickened sludge and clear
heated using lots of energy to create challenges we all face at home: Scale assessed and tested the entire water water. Once the sewage sludge is
steam from which drinking water can build up in boilers, components management performance. The test sufficiently dry, it can be incinerated
is produced. This leaves behind a can rust and solids can clog up criteria demonstrated that water for energy recovery or used as
salty brine, which is then returned to pipes. Products from BASF help is abstracted in accordance with fertilizer in agriculture.
the sea. However, the desalination to keep plants running smoothly sustainable principles. This means,
process creates stubborn deposits. for as long as possible, without the for example, that the Tarragona
Crystals which form in the heating need for frequent maintenance. For site only draws as much water as it
pipes and distillation chambers can example, BASF has developed the needs. Furthermore, the certification
lower efficiency so much that the Antiprex product line. Biodegradable shows that good water status is
plants need to be cleaned every Antiprex CM prevents mineral ensured, high conservation areas are
two to three months. In order to build-up and Antiprex MSA is protected and all activities are subject To find out more, visit:
considerably lengthen the time used as an environmentally friendly to an appropriate level of control. The
between cleanings, dispersing detergent. Neither one contains assessment also requires a water

Creating Chemistry | 25

New discoveries
Inventiveness is in demand: Innovations make our everyday
lives easier in a host of ways, and help improve sustainability.
In this section, we present a selection of inspiring examples.

Magnetic cooling Quenching thirst with saltwater

The next generation of refrigerators and air Eliodomestico, a solar-powered water distiller
conditioners will be even more environmentally for coastal populations in the developing world,
friendly thanks to an innovative technology: works like a coffee percolator turned upside
magnetocaloric materials, which will one day down. Created by Italian designer Gabriele
replace conventional compressor technology. Diamanti, it is easy to use. The container on
Compared to traditional appliances, this could the top is filled with saltwater in the morning.
reduce energy consumption by up to 50%, experts By evening, the water has evaporated and
believe. Furthermore, the new appliances are condensed again into the container on the
quieter, do not vibrate and require no coolants bottom, producing 5 liters of drinkable water.
that are harmful to the climate. They work using This novel water distiller made of inexpensive
the principle of magnetic cooling. Magnetocaloric clay needs no electricity and should cost
materials heat up in a magnetic field and cool down around $50 (38) about half the price, but
again when the magnetic field is removed. BASF nearly 70% more effective than most existing
is currently working with leading universities and models. Eliodomestico is an open-source
partners around the world to develop the innovative project that allows anyone to build a copy of
materials and functional components for magnetic this saltwater treatment equipment.
cooling. The technology should be ready to launch
on the market in a few years.

Slippery solution
Getting the last bit of sauce out of a bottle
can be annoying. Even after leaving the bottle
upside down for minutes, no amount of shaking
or tapping can get the liquid out. This problem
could soon be a thing of the past. Five students
from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT) and their professor, Kripa Varanasi, Ph.D.,
have developed a gel-like surface coating called
LiquiGlide. It could someday prevent everything
from ketchup in a bottle to ice on the wings of
airplanes from sticking to surfaces. The plant-
based product consists of a microscopic slippery
layer that can be applied to all kinds of material,
including glass, ceramics, metal and plastics.

Robots eliminate desert dust

Ridha Azaiz was just 13 when he came up with an idea that he
has not been able to get out of his head ever since. After reading
that solar modules lose much of their efficiency when they get
dirty, he tested and proved this theory on his balcony. He then
set to work finding a solution to the problem: a cleaning robot.
Now, at the age of 28, he has built his first functioning prototype,
which moves over the slanted solar panels and cleans them with a
brush, making them efficient again. Another output of his tinkering
is Solarbrush, a company that Azaiz hopes will soon be selling its
first robots to markets with sunny, but dusty desert climates.

26 | Creating Chemistry
Powered by play
Soccket is a ball and a tiny power station.
During a regular game of soccer, it generates
and stores electricity. Just 15 minutes of
playing are sufficient to power an LED lamp for
3 hours. Inside the ball, which is barely heavier
than a standard leather soccer, there is a small
pendulum that charges up a battery when it
swings. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton was
so impressed by this idea for regions without
a regular electricity supply that he donated
money for its development. According to the
World Bank, 1.4 billion people have no access
to an electricity grid and another 1.3 billion
have no stable source of energy. Clinton was
not the only one who supported the project:
In March of this year, more than one thousand
fans donated money online, raising more than
$92,000 (nearly 70,000). Now the start-up
Uncharted Play plans to begin large-scale
production of theball.

Energy every step of the way

With the new Energy Boost running shoe, the impact energy of
jogging is no longer wasted it is sent back to the runner. As
soon as the compression from the foots impact is released, the
foam of the shoes midsole springs instantly back into shape.
The energy expended in a footfall is thus largely returned to the
athlete. This is made possible by a new technology developed
by BASF and adidas, which enables athletes to move as if they
were on cushioning foam capsules. It is based on InfinergyTM,
the worlds first expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (E-TPU).
To make it, BASF foams up TPU granules into highly elastic
foam beads: 2,500 of these are then formed into a midsole,
creating a novel cushioning and shock-absorbing system.

Creating Chemistry | 27
From two perspectives: For & Against

A tokay gecko can be up to

40 centimeters long and yet
it can cling easily to a smooth
wall. This is possible because
its feet are covered with
adhesive pads measuring
only a few nanometers which
can nestle perfectly into any
tiny niche of the surface.

28 | Creating Chemistry
a science under
For many years, nanotechnology has been considered a science of unlimited
possibilities. These tiny particles and structures enable materials with
exceptional properties to be produced. They can, for example, help to make
plastics both lighter and more stable, or to make high-gloss coatings scratch-
proof. They can also be used to develop new medicines. But, at the same time,
there is some doubt. Critics see a risk that nanoparticles will get into human
cells or the environment and warn that there has not yet been sufficient
research into thistechnology.

here are big expectations for these and Dr. Heinrich Rohrer. This device enabled
new materials. The starting material, scientists to see individual nanostructures and
on the other hand, is extremely small. understand nano-scale phenomena.
One nanometer is just one-millionth Proponents from the worlds of business and
of a millimeter. In comparison: A politics believe nanotechnology will be one of
human hair has a diameter of around the strongest drivers of innovation that will help
100,000nanometers. Thus the origin of the word solve the challenges society faces in the future.
nanos, which is derived from the Greek word Nanomaterials can filter water and make it potable
fordwarf. again, they can reduce the exhaust emissions from
Nanostructures are nothing new in nature. cars and they can help fight cancer.
They give geckos and flies their ability to adhere to Yet there are concerns about some other
surfaces, provide the dazzling colors in a butterflys applications. Experts do not consider products
wings and create the lotus flowers self-cleaning which contain nanostructures or bound nano-
effect. People have also been utilizing the benefits particles, such as paints and coatings, to be
of nanomaterials for a long time even though they problematic. However, sprays are a different story
might not have known it. The glowing red color in because they contain unbound nanoparticles. If
church windows, for example, is created by gold these are inhaled, they could be harmful to health.
nanoparticles. Professor Dr. Wolfgang M. Heckl, head of
Research on the synthetic production of acatech, the topic network on nanotechnology
nanoparticles has been conducted since the of the German National Academy of Science and
20th century. The breakthrough was achieved in Engineering and Jurek Vengels, nano expert at
1981 with the invention of the scanning tunneling BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany), discuss
microscope by physics Professor Dr. Gerd Binnig thepros and cons of nanotechnology.

Creating Chemistry | 29
From two perspectives: For

In almost every field,

can make important
contributions to
solving societys
Dr. Wolfgang M. Heckl, Professor of Science
Communication at the Technical University of
Munich and head of acatech, the topic network
onnanotechnology of the German National
Academy of Science and Engineering

30 | Creating Chemistry
Dr. Wolfgang M. Heckl Creating Chemistry: effort. There is no road map that tough it out through phases where
Professor Heckl, as Director shows where discoveries will lead not everything succeeds quickly.
is Professor of Science General of the Deutsches some day. But if we dont take part Icant imagine, for example, that
Communication at the Technical Museum (German Museum) in innovations, we will miss out on we will be able to abandon nuclear
University of Munich (TUM). in Munich, you established a anenormous opportunity. energy without the scientists who
After obtaining his doctorate, the nano department there. But are active in both fundamental
biophysicist worked in the IBM this technology is still very You have described research as well as in the industrial
research group led by Nobel new did it not have to prove its nanotechnology as a cross- applications of nanotechnology.
Prize winner Professor Dr. Gerd importance to society before sectional technology. What
Binnig. One of the founding being given such an honor? doesthat mean? Nanotechnology can be
fathers of nanoscience, Binnig Professor Dr. Wolfgang M. Heckl: Understanding the composition of controversial and there is
was a co-inventor of the scanning In almost every field, nanotechnology matter is the foundation of every alotoftalk about the risks.
tunneling microscope, which can make important contributions type of materials science. And Howdoyou addressthis?
forthe first time allowed atoms to solving societys problems nanomaterials science, in turn, is the In many cases, there is simply a
to be seen, manipulated and everything from global nutrition foundation for a number of research lot of talk based on unquestioned
researched. Since 2004, Heckl to recycling scarce raw materials areas from nanoelectronics to fear. As far as I know, there has
has also been Director General of like the rare earth metals. And nanomedicine. been no serious incident causing
the Deutsches Museum (German nanotechnology is already found in harm to human health which can
Museum) in Munich, where he many products. You can be quite Which nanotechnology applica- be attributed to nanotechnology
established a permanent exhibit sure that all of the components of tions do you believe have the products. Just by sitting around a
on nano- and biotechnology with a smartphone are ultimately based greatest potential? campfire, you are already breathing
an open research laboratory. He on an understanding of material Real innovations are always targeted in a lot of harmful nanoparticles. We
also made it into the Guinness at a nano-scale; in other words, at where the demand is greatest. always need to weigh the risks and
Book of World Records for drilling matter with a size of between What does mankind want? Health! opportunities. From a philosophical-
the worlds smallest hole by 1and100nanometers. Or consider This is a huge issue in an aging ethical perspective, someone might
writing an atomic bit. Heckl is head affordable sunscreen with a sun society. However, we still do not say we have to evaluate everything
of acatech, the topic network on protection factor of 50+. This understand the causes of 70% of first and make sure it is watertight.
nanotechnology of the German breakthrough was made possible all known illnesses and therefore But someone closer to the issue
National Academy of Science bynano-scale titanium dioxide. we are unable to treat them. There aperson who has a relative with a
and Engineering and an advisor is an incredible need to catch brain tumor, for example will be
to the European Commission and What is your motivation for up, to understand the molecular happy if there are people working
German government on the field trying to help people gain processes that lead to illnesses such on nanoparticle cancer therapy. This
ofnanotechnology. a better understanding of as Alzheimers disease or cancer. person might be willing to accept
nanotechnology? And nanomaterials are already being greater risk.
A new technology that is so complex developed that can transport cancer
and challenging always needs medication directly to where it needs Could nanotechnology become
someone to act as an intermediary to take effect. aconflict-laden issue, as genetic
with society. In particular, we have to technology did?
get young people excited about it so After the initial excitement about I believe we have done things
that the scientific and technological nanotechnology, it seems some much better here than with genetic
illiteracy in our country does not disillusionment is now setting technology. For example, we got
continue to grow! This is why we have in. The materials have turned humanities scholars involved at a
set up open research laboratories out to be expensive and the very early stage. And we established
in our Center for New Technologies development of applications a dialog on opportunities and risks
in Munich. They are a place where istaking longer than expected. through the NanoCare initiative
young people can watch my students Howdo you respond to this? supported by the German Federal
at work and ask them: Hey, what Nanotechnology is a technology of Ministry of Education and Research,
are you doing there? What are the the future; in some areas it will create which enables people to talk to
opportunities? What are the risks? breakthroughs, in other areas it will researchers and developers. We
The idea behind this is they dont just prove to be a dead end. And the will be on the right path if, instead
get to know the science, they also get excitement is definitely still there. One of taking a top-down approach to
to know the scientists. hundred years ago, nano was just a helping people and deciding for
theoretical physics concept. Today, them, we invite them to take part as
Supporters of nanotechnology we are finally able to find practical much as possible in the decision-
often like to describe it as some applications for this concept. Being making process.
sort of magic formula for the able to see and actually work with
future. Is it really? molecules and atoms has created
I would be very cautious using such incredible impetus.
terms. Throughout history, people
have always tried to present new How important is nanotechnology To find out more, visit:
technologies as something magical. for the economy?
But nature is complicated and It is critical to survival. And if we want
every little advance requires great to stay on the ball, we will have to

Creating Chemistry | 31
From two perspectives: Against

Creating Chemistry: interested in the issue of releasing materials are doing to us and the Jurek Vengels
Mr. Vengels, nanotechnology it into the environment what environment. We are therefore calling
is considered a promising consequences will that have? For for the share of funding spent on risk studied political science and
technology of the future. It is example, one of our particular worries research to be increased to between international relations in Berlin
already providing benefits, for is that nanosilver in sewage sludge 10% and 15%. and Freiburg, Germany, and in
example, in membranes for water will be spread on fields, returning it Bucharest, Romania. Since 2007,
treatment and in cancer therapy. to the food chain and eventually into What do you expect from he has been a research associate
Yet you warn that caution is human bodies. the companies that use in the chemicals policy and
necessary. Why? nanotechnology to develop nanotechnology project at BUND
Jurek Vengels: At BUND, we But in Germany, waste and theirproducts? (Friends of the Earth Germany). As
do see many opportunities in wastewater are properly treated They should test their products very an author and co-author, he has
nanotechnology but also risks. and disposed of, arent they? well for potential risks if they are using been involved with many BUND
Many questions simply havent With nanosilver, there is the nanomaterial. There are companies publications, including From the
been answered yet: What effect fear especially with regard to that are already carrying out very Lab to the Dinner Plate: The Use of
do nanoparticles have in the wastewater treatment facilities extensive testing, while others Nanotechnology in the Food Sector
environment? And what might they that this substance, similarly to perhaps do not make quite as much (Aus dem Labor auf den Teller
do to the human body? That is why traditional silver, could harm the of an effort. The companies that test Die Nutzung der Nanotechnologie
we advocate first investigating these microorganisms that keep the water insufficiently or not at all could cause im Lebensmittelsektor) and
risks and then determining which in the plant clean. This could possibly a crisis if they use a material that Nanosilver: More and More
materials we can use safely and prevent the wastewater treatment turns out to be problematic this Everyday Applications Despite
whatwe might have to avoid using. plant from functioning properly would then also discredit the entire Unknown Risks (Nanosilber
and thus disable the environmental industry. It should therefore really be immer mehr Alltagsanwendungen
Not all nano products are the protection mechanisms. Studies in companies best interest to have trotz ungeklrter Risiken).
same. Are there any applications show that nanosilver is generally better regulations on nanomaterial.
that you are particularly harmful to aquatic organisms. So
concerned about? we say: Wait a minute! We need What form could regulations take
In my view, it is especially problematic to proceed cautiously. Especially that would reconcile safety for
when unbound nanomaterials are because the use of nanosilver is very humans and the environment
used because these can then get widespread. It is added, for example, with technological progress?
into the environment, or people can to detergents or clothing to prevent We are calling for a general labeling
come into direct contact with them. odors and can be released into the requirement for nanomaterials
In food, textiles and cosmetics, for environment when the clothes are in consumer applications and a
example, nanomaterial could be washed. registry that lists these applications.
absorbed by the body and we simply It should also contain more in-depth
dont know enough about this. We How much do we really know information, such as: What purpose
are also worried about particular apart from some specific does the nanomaterial serve in the
nanomaterials, such as certain examples about the negative product? What effect can it have?
kinds of carbon nanotubes. When effects of nanotechnology on Where are there possible gaps in
these are inhaled, they can have humans and the environment? the research? This would allow me
the same effect as asbestos in the The terrifying thing is that we as a consumer to find out more and
lungs: They can cause inflammatory know solittle. Recently published make an informed choice. From mid-
reactions and eventually lead to the preliminary findings from a research 2013, there is an E.U.-wide labeling
development of tumors. project by a high German federal requirement for nanoparticles in
authority found that much work is cosmetics and this will apply for food
Why is BUND, an environmental being done on the fundamentals of as well from the end of 2014. But we
organization, interested in analysis and that there are barely any consider this too slow, so we have
nanotechnology? concrete results. Unfortunately, when decided to take action ourselves.
We believe that this is an important it comes to nanotechnology, we have BUND has created an online
technology with a lot of potential. been hearing for years that there will database for nanoproducts. Our
And we also hope that nano will soon be good methods to evaluate goal is to create basic transparency
bring advances in environmental the particles, but there never really so consumers can know what they
technologies. There are definitely seems to be any progress. arebuying.
some interesting applications in wind
and solar energy which can create Why, in your opinion, does safety
improvements although much of research lag so far behind the
what is advertised has not yet been technological development?
realized. It is certainly a technology The majority of public funding
that we will be coming into contact for nanotechnology flows into
with more frequently both humans development, while only about 5% is
and the environment in general. As directed to risk research. So there
such, it is an important issue that is always a gap between what the To find out more, visit:
the environmental movement should industry is bringing onto the market
address. We are, of course, very and the knowledge about what these

32 | Creating Chemistry
In my view, it is
especially problematic
when unbound
nanomaterials are
used because these
can then get into
the environment,
or people can come
into direct contact
with them.
Jurek Vengels, a research associate in the
chemicals policy and nanotechnology project
atBUND (Friends of the Earth Germany)

Creating Chemistry | 33
Viewpoint BASF

A powerful driver
Nanotechnology is not a magic formula, it is simply a tool
that offers us enormous opportunities. We use it to develop
materials that have structures, particles, fibers or platelets
whose size is measured in nanometers.

At the same time, nanotechnology embedded between a transparent

is a powerful driver of innovation anode and a cathode. When an
in research and development electric current is applied, the In order to achieve
because it helps us work on finding
solutions in areas such as climate
nanofilm glows. Our research goal is
to develop material for lighting that
acceptance, we have
protection, mobility, medicine and consumes 50% less energy than tobeopen and provide
energy. We need it to answer the
questions that will be even more
todays energy-saving light bulbs.
Nanotechnology also has great
relevant in the future: How can we advantages when it comes to water information, engage
provide clean water to a growing
population? How will we meet the
treatment. Plastic membranes
made of Ultrason have small pores,
indiscussion, address
constantly increasing demand for just 20 nanometers across, which concerns and find
energy? How can we achieve the
best environmentally friendly design
filter out germs, bacteria and even
viruses from water. This ultrafiltration
scientifically sound
for rising transportation volumes and technology is used to purify drinking solutions on which
individual mobility? It will take more
than gradual product improvements
water and process water as well as to
manufacture products from surface
or yesterdays approaches to find water, groundwater and spring water. Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, member of the
BoardofExecutive Directors of BASF SE
answers to these questions. We need Acceptance will be absolutely
andResearch Executive Director
new technologies that open up new key if we want to be able to use
perspectives. nanotechnology in the future as well.
One example: These days, we In order to achieve acceptance,
use about 20% of electrical energy we have to be open and provide
worldwide to power various light understandable information, engage in
sources. By using organic light- discussion, address concerns and find
emitting diodes (OLEDs), this energy scientifically sound solutions on which
consumption could be reduced by there is consensus. In this regard,
more than 30% in the future. These BASF relies on dialog. We are the first
OLEDs comprise a thin layer made and so far only company in Germany
up of several organic semiconductors to have started a regularly occurring
which is about 100 nanometers thick, forum. At the Nano Dialog Forum,

34 | Creating Chemistry
Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer

has been a member of the Board

of Executive Directors of BASFSE
since 2003. He is Research
Executive Director and responsible
for the divisions Crop Protection
and Coatings, the region South
America, Biological and Effect
Systems Research, BASF Plant
Science and BASF New Business.
Kreimeyer holds a doctorate in
biology and began working at
BASF in 1986. Prior to joining the
Board of Executive Directors, his
positions at the company included
heading up the fertilizer, dispersions
and functional polymers divisions.
From1995 until 1998, he worked
for BASF in Singapore.

established in 2008, we meet with We take on this responsibility. Above Crystalline nanostructures, known
representatives from environmental This is true for products that contain as metal organic frameworks (MOFs),
should significantly extend the range of
and consumer organizations, unions, nanomaterials, just as it is for all
natural gas-powered vehicles.
academic institutes and churches other BASF products. That is why
in order to discuss current political we have already been conducting
and social developments and issues. extensive safety research on
This dialog has been a very good nanotechnology for many years
experience for us so far. It helps us and we are participating in external
to better understand concerns and studies, as well. One such example
reservations about nanotechnology, is a project in which Germanys
which ultimately allows us to respond Federal Environment Ministry, the
better to them. Federal Institute for Occupational
Germany is at the forefront of Safety and Health and BASF are
nanotechnology worldwide and jointly researching the long-term
is the leader in Europe. To ensure effects of nanoparticles. Thanks to
this remains the case, we need a this safety research, we are able to
political and social environment that recognize potential risks and develop
welcomes innovation. Industry will safe products and applications,
have to continue to do its part, but thuspreventing risks from turning
politicians must also play a role. intohazards.
Ourpolitical leaders now have to set As a large industrial company,
the course and regulate the use of wehave considerable responsibilities:
nanomaterials in a way that allows us for the safety of our products,
to take advantage of the enormous toouremployees and to society.
opportunities offered by this Ialso see it as our responsibility to
technology. After all, a technology take advantage of the opportunities
is intrinsically neutral, neither good that arise for society from new
nor bad. The important thing is that technologies. Only if this is possible
the application of this technology will we be able to maintain our To find out more, visit:
and the resulting products be futuresuccess.

Creating Chemistry | 35
Feature: Quality of life

36 | Creating Chemistry
New ways of accessing
knowledge arise with
eachgeneration. How
dobusinesses meetthe
challenges ofourrapidly

Making a
life-long learning
Businesses today operate in a rapidly changing political, technological and economic
environment. In addition to globalization and the digital revolution, changing demographics
are also creating challenges for companies everywhere: With an aging workforce in the
West and a burgeoning new generation bringing to bear its own attitudesand expectations
around the world, employee training and development areincreasingly gaining in strategic
importance for companies.


hen the outside the legal retirement age. Companies young management hopefuls is
world changes, have to ensure that the skills of disappearing. Companies are only
organizations all their employees keep up with just starting to understand that its
must change or thesechanges. one thing to retain an employee and
die. This is the As the half-life of knowledge its another thing to develop that
stark warning gets shorter, individual ability and person. Not only in the typical vertical
from Dr. Dave Ulrich, Professor at the capability of organizations have way: You also have to develop people
the Ross School of Business at the to adapt more quickly, explains along a lateral career path, to find
University of Michigan and a partner Ulrich. In the past, organizations new activities over and again, says
at the RBL Group. When social, succeeded as a result of role clarity Professor Dr. Ursula M. Staudinger,
political, economic and demographic and predictability. Now, organizations an expert on lifespan development
trends change, so too do the succeed with adaptability and and aging, and founding director
expectations of customers, investors, innovation. His recommendation? of a new Aging Center at Columbia
suppliers and regulators. And so too Employee learning because University in New York. Training is
do the expectations of the people learning creates individual ability no longer just about climbing the
who work for those businesses. For and capability of organizations and corporate ladder, it is about ensuring
companies, managing these changes enables both to adapt to changing the whole workforce is in shape
is vital to survival. conditions. to master future challenges (see
In the industrialized West, interview onpage39).
businesses are having to faceup Life-long learning
tothe challenge of an aging How do 40, 50 and 60-year-olds learn An individual approach
population. Lower birth rates have best? This has become a focusof But traditional training programs
produced a younger generation much attention in the West. The aimed at new recruits simply do
that is significantly smaller than its common perception is that the older not fulfill todays requirements.
predecessors. Added to this, the we get, the less readily we learn new Adifferent approach is necessary.
legal retirement age in many Western skills. Yet research shows that this Training needs to be designed to
countries is increasing and older does not have to be the case. People be of value and relevance to each
people are remaining fitter for longer. who continue the learning habit individual, taking into account their
The impact on the world of work throughout their lives remain just as particular circumstances. So training
is clear. In the future there will be a capable of learning in old age as they has to become more individual,
higher proportion of older employees were when they were younger. It is but it also has to become a shared
at work. By 2017, around 60% of the therefore in everyones interest to keep responsibility. It is no longer good
workforce will be over the age of 50 learning. The longer we keep learning, enough to sit back and wait for your
and working into your late 60s and the longer we will have the mental superior to send you to a course.
70s will become the norm. agility to learn new skills. Weall have to wake up to the need
Businesses and individuals alike The idea of life-long learning, to continue learning and keeping our
need to prepare for this change now which has been around for decades, skills relevant if we do not want to
because technological and other is now becoming widely recognized beleft by the wayside.
societal changes mean that no job as a commercial necessity for This can have other benefitsas
will stay the same for long. In many companies managing an aging well. Look at what happened when
countries, todays 40-year-old has workforce. The traditional view that the Hong Kong-based airline Cathay
almost 30 years left until reaching training is only for new recruits and Pacific changed its approach >>

Creating Chemistry | 37
Feature: Quality of life

Will the supply of educated workers meet demand in 2021?

Over the next decade, as access to higher Will there be enough job opportunities in countries over the next decade. A surplus is
education improves in fast developing economies, countries with a large number of qualified young shown in dark green and a deficit in light green.
the pool of educated people available for work will people? Which countries will experience shortages The middle of the graphic shows the countries
increase dramatically. In developed economies, and where will supply and demand be in balance? with a broad balance. The numbers report the
by contrast, lower birth rates mean growth will be The chart shows how the gap between supply average annual percentage change of the deficit
slower or even grind to a halt. and demand is expected to evolve in different or surplus.

Strongest trend talent surplus Demand and supply for talent in balance Strongest trend talent deficit















do dia

So olo ia

Af a
B a
c h ro il
pu o
Eg c
Q t

ta ru

ab ah a
S a i l i p te s
i A es

rb ia
al s
Ku i a

O it

C a
M na

er n

ge o

Ru na

Sw S ia
er n
N Au d
rla a
Sw nds

st n
N a lia

ng nd

e r re

Fr ny
te T c e
U K i n ke y

St m
So a es

Ko a
G re a

Po a l y

Ja d
Ta an
ze M o r a z

T h wa
M do

A r B ic

he tr i

ut nad

Em r a i

it z pai
B ma

Au de
Re cc

A r ex i c

C ne s

ut mb

Ba rab



te d o
G o
o s Pe

ud pin




S i a il a



Ph i r a

et s


d ur




ni g





Source: Oxford Economics, Global Talent 2021, 2012.

to training. The airlines business Standardized offerings have to be Training around the world*
success is based on customer supplemented by a whole array
retention and its motto is Service of training tools. Companies are Cultural and traditional differences mean that approaches to
straight from the heart. But it found providing a wider range of options employee training and development differ from country to country.
that its old approach to training from job rotation and job shadowing
and development was promoting a to coaching and e-learning. China Mexico
culture of compliance, rather than Increasingly, companies are The countrys authoritarian and Increased levels of training are often
one of commitment. Cathay Pacific realizing that development means hierarchical tradition meant, in the driven by international investors
decided to encourage its employees benefiting from ones own and past, that employee empowerment requiring consistency across their
to take responsibility for their own others experience and applying the and participation were not so readily operations. A major focus has been
performance and plan their own knowledge daily in a practical and accepted. Employee loyalty was also skill development for lower-level
development. In discussion with profitable manner. HR professionals rather low. But as market reforms employees. As young people often
their managers, employees began talk about the 70:20:10 learning and global competition take hold, lack the resources to fund their own
to assess how they were doing, formula. This describes the split the need for training has increased. further education and typically start
consider what they could do better between different types of learning, The strong reciprocal culture means contributing to their familys income
and set their own goals. Together, whereby 70% of what you learn is that companies that offer training relatively early, company training and
they developed their own personal from your own experience at work and development receive increased development is seen as an important
plan for achieving those goals. The because this is the best way to learn, commitment from their employees. stepping stone to a better future.
company found that when people 20% is learned from those around
take responsibility for their own you, and only 10% is from formal India Germany
success, they not only get more training. India is fast picking up best Vocational training has long been
satisfaction from their work, it also At the BASF Leadership practices from the foreign highly valued by employers and
increases their commitment toward Experience Center established this companies outsourcing there. employees alike. Job-specific
their company. year in Ludwigshafen, Germany, Companies now invest substantial technical training has a strong
the company offers managers the time and money to train new tradition in many industries in
Learning from experience opportunity to work together as recruits. Employees participate in a Germany, with trainees following
Of course it is not just age that teams to improve collaboration and wide range of education programs, adual system of formal and on-the-
differentiates people they have develop a common management including not only technical training job training. Although further training
different learning styles and understanding. An essential aspect but also soft skills and management opportunities tended in the past to
requirements. In order to meet the is that the team members bring skills. Career advancement and be restricted to conventional courses
individual training needs of each their own questions or challenges salary increases are usually tied to for potential managers, thisattitude
employee, we can no longer think of with them from their business units. the completion of such training. is now changing.
training as just attending seminars. The one-day workshop is not so

38 | Creating Chemistry
much about knowledge transfer between 1981 and 2000, labeled by Three questions for
as about learning from experience demographers as Generation Y, Professor Dr. Ursula M. Staudinger
andfromothers. is the first truly digital generation
Job-sharing and mentoring ageneration of young people who
schemes are also growing in have grown up with computers, the
popularity. New employees learn internet and social media. They are Companies that
quickly and effectively in this kind
of exchange with their colleagues.
well educated, tech-savvy, and they
know a lot about the world around
provide continued
At Mars, the food company behind them. They want a workplace that development for
brands such as Mars chocolate bars
and Whiskas pet food, employees
offers inspiration and responsibility
and high on their list of priorities is
their employees
are offered a range of opportunities career development and training. will be the winners
for growth and advancement.
Mentoring is an important part of our
But what is important about this
generation is not only the different
in the competition
culture, explains Andr Martin, Chief attitudes and expectations, but also for the best brains.
Learning Officer at Mars. As a highly the fact that their numbers vary from
decentralized company, building country to country.
good relationships is essential.
Newassociates receive mentoring A generation in demand
as a way of introducing them to the In the aging West, they form a Professor Dr. Ursula M. Staudinger to maintaining productivity and job
corporate culture. It is also part of the smaller cohort than the preceding is an academic leader in the field satisfaction. Companies have to
training for high-potential associates. generations. In Germany, the problem of lifespan development and aging invest in developing such varied
Mars puts great emphasis on is very clear: Whereas today there research. This year she joined the work biographies together with their
ensuring that senior leaders who are 9.7million Germans between Mailman School of Public Health as employees. But this investment will
volunteer to be mentors are given the the ages of 20 and 30, by 2030 the founding director of a new Aging pay off as, according to the latest
right tools and knowledge to be good there will only be 7.5 million. In Center at Columbia University in United Nations predictions, the world
mentors. Mentoring is not the same rapidly developing regions like Asia, New York. Previously she was Vice population will level off by 2050 and
as coaching. Mentoring is about the demographic picture is very President of Jacobs University in decline thereafter. Companies that
sharing stories. It is a relationship different and the number of educated Bremen, Germany, and Founding provide continued development for
fundamentally driven by the mentee, young people is growing rapidly. Dean of the Jacobs Center on their employees will be the winners
says Martin. According to Oxford Economics, Lifelong Learning. in the competition for the best brains
Among the diverse business units already more than half of the worlds and hands. This is a fundamental
at Mars, mentoring is used in different college graduates (54%) come from Creating Chemistry: How does paradigm shift. Its a revolution.
ways. One of the U.S. business units, the top emerging markets China, our potential to develop and learn
for example, introduced peer-to-peer India, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, change throughout our lives? What kind of advantages do you
mentoring among women, as part Russia and Turkey (the E7). Over Professor Dr. Ursula M. see in mixed teams consisting of
of its focus on diversity, to help build the next decade, this percentage Staudinger: When we are very people with different experiences,
networks among like-minded people is predicted to rise to 60% thats little, we know nothing and we are backgrounds and ages?
at a similar place in their careers. around 217million college graduates, absolutely motivated to take in There was a study some years ago in
There is no vanity around learning as opposed to 143 million in the everything that is around us. By Denmark of a representative sample
at Mars, says Martin. It is part of developed world. It is, of course, not early adulthood, we have mastered of companies relating their profit in a
our culture of mutuality. At another just the higher birthrates in these the basic cultural skills that we need given year to the age composition of
U.S. business unit, the management countries that arehelping them to survive and that influences our the employees of that company. The
team was mentored by the younger overtake the West; equally essential motivation. Cognition and learning study found that the most profitable
generation and introduced to the is the combination of accelerating are based on cognitive resources but companies were those that had an
use of social media. It is all part of economic growth andtechnology- they are also carried along by the fuel equal number of employees in every
understanding what the world looks enabled training. that comes from motivation. Cognitive age range. This tells you something
like through the eyes of the next The question is whether the resources decline with age but the about the advantage of age diversity
generation so we can begin creating supply of these young, educated rate of decline differs tremendously at a macro-level. But diversity is a
organizations that will be attractive to people meets demand. Thesituation depending on lifestyle and contextual tricky business there are no easy
them, says Martin. is not the same everywhere. In parts factors. So the older we get, the more answers. At the micro-level, we need
Lets focus now on these younger of the West, there are fewer ofthese important it is that we realize why we to look at the task to be managed by
employees the people in their young people than there are job have to learn. We have to construct a given team, then we can decide
20s and 30s. The generation born opportunities. And they know >> society so that people find rewards whether age diversity will be helpful
that make them expend effort on or not. If speed is an important part
* Sources:
learning across the lifespan. ofthe task, age mix is not a good idea.
Ellen A. Drost et al., Benchmarking Whereas if sustainable creativity is
Training and Development Practices: What can companies do to create what is required, bringing older and
AMulti-Country Comparative
Analysis,2002. a working environment that younger engineers together has been
encourages employees learning demonstrated to be very profitable. On
Vivek Wadhwa, Indias Workforce
Revolution, The Wall Street Journal, and development? a meso-level, companies need to talk
July23, 2008. Companies need to show new about and make visible the strengths
Vinod Mishra / Russell Smyth,
recruits, at all levels of qualification, of all age groups. At the same time,
HighPerformance Work Practices and that there is a long-term career work has to be organized in such a
Workplace Training in China: Evidence pathway they can take andthat way that the weaknesses of different
from Matched Employee-Employer
Data,2012. training and development age groups are compensated. If you
opportunities will be provided along want to maintain productivity in a
German Federal Institute for
VocationalEducation and Training the way. It is pivotal that employees workforce encompassing a range
(BIBB), Continuing Education and do not work too long in one position. of ages, you have to make sure that
Training in Germany (Berufliche
Weiterbildung in Deutschland),
Timely activity changes are the key every age counts.
August1, 2007.

Creating Chemistry | 39
Feature: Quality of life

they have a competitive advantage. companies is intense. This can conscious effort so employees can
In strong economies, companies lead to problems of its own and leave work on time and are able to
wishing to attract them face fierce highlights the need for a regionalized have a life outside of office hours. We believe that
competition and therefore have no
choice but to take seriously their
approach to employee development
and learning, as Philipp von Sahr,
The idea of work-life balance
likethe idea of life-long learning has
ifemployees are
values and attitudes. President of the BMW Group in India been around for many years. What healthy, they will
The emerging economies,
meanwhile, are booming as
found out. is interesting about this example is
that it shows that todays competitive
perform better
businesses increasingly choose to The work-life balance pressures mean there is no choice this is true for
base themselves in these countries.
Demand for young graduates is
BMW has around 650 employees
across India. When von Sahr first
but to address this issue and to take
it seriously.
therefore also growing. As a result, took over at the BMW office in Delhi Thats why BASF isestablishing Philipp von Sahr,
President of the BMW Group in India
surveys predict that future demand he was impressed by the level of its Center for Work-Life Management
for young talent is likely to grow dedication and stamina shown by in Ludwigshafen. The center provides
fastest in Asia, by more than 20% his employees. Many of them stayed all BASF employees a range of
over the next ten years. But the rate working in the office late into the offerings relating to family and career,
of growth of demand and supply night. With the average age at 30, fitness and health, as well as social
is not the same everywhere (see we have a lot of young managers and care counseling. It aims to meet
graphic onpage 38). in the company who are highly employees needs in all their different
In China, increasing numbers motivated and want to excel at their phases of life, allowing them to
of graduates are met by increasing work. They are self-driven and put bring the demands from the private
numbers of job opportunities. This in additional effort and work hours and professional sides of their life
young generation is faced with a over and above what is expected, intobalance.
world of choice unlike anything their heexplains.
predecessors knew. Many businesses But von Sahr came to realize Staying fit for life
are facing the problem of job-hopping, that the long hours were having a With older people staying in the
with younger employees simply detrimental effect on their creativity workforce longer, staying healthy is
moving on to a new job as soon as and decision-making. His ambitious good not just for the individual, but
something does not suit them. For a and hard-working staff were putting also for the company. People who
well-educated graduate it is easy to BMW before everything else even are physically healthy will be able to
do the opportunities are there. To before their own health. The company continue learning and developing
stem the problem, companies have therefore introduced a range of through every stage of life and into
to work hard to prove they can offer initiatives to encourage employees ripe oldage.
their young workforce an exciting to put their health and families first, Training is no longer just about
career path with real learning and followed by BMW, so that they could skills acquisition for younger
development possibilities. be fit to meet the daily challenges of employees it is now a life-long
In India, by contrast, although a globally competitive business on pursuit that empowers the individual.
companies are increasingly looking to a sustainable basis. The leadership It also creates a workforce that,
the subcontinent to set up business team at BMW India places high whatever their age, has the agility
there, the fast expanding pool of importance on maintaining a work-life and creativity to keep the business
skilled and educated young people balance. We believe that if employees ahead in todays highly competitive
still outweighs the opportunities. As are healthy, they will perform better global economy. For all of us around
a result, competition among young this is true for every organization, the world, in whatever profession, the
Indians for jobs at multinational says von Sahr. We make a message is: never stop learning.

Employee development is key to success

It is only as we develop others employee development over the past is a flexible, highly qualified and
that we permanently succeed. two years. The extraordinary thing motivated team that will increase
This was recognized by Harvey about this concept is that it includes the competitiveness of the company
Samuel Firestone, who founded more than 110,000 BASF employees. in the long term. Our concept
the U.S. tire company Firestone By 2017, all employees will have enables us to take an individualized
in 1900, and is still true today. agreed on development measures approach to development that
Demographic change, increasing with their supervisors. Employee considers the various stages of life,
global competition and technological development is thus a major priority explains Anke Schmidt, head of
progress mean that employees and for managers. Supervisors advise the project Employee Development
companies have to be forward- and support employees, who BASF Group. At the same time,
looking and adaptable. In order to evaluate their own skills and interests our business units in all regions are
meet these ongoing challenges, and actively contribute ideas about able to effectively incorporate their
BASF has gradually been introducing their own development. The aim of demand for specific skills early on.
a standardized global concept for employee development at BASF

40 | Creating Chemistry
Left Employees of BASF.

Right Dr. Wolfgang Hapke,

President of Human
Resources at BASF.

Dr. Wolfgang Hapke has been head of the

Employees want
Human Resources Competence Center
of the BASF Group since March 2013 and
is responsible for BASFs personnel work
worldwide. During his career, he has

atotal package
worked in the United States and Hong
Kong, where he was responsible for
BASFs division Market and Business
Development, Asia Pacific.

Dr. Wolfgang Hapke is President of Human Resources at BASF. Here

hetalksabout trends in human resources. His view: Life-long learning
makesus both companies and employees more successful.

Creating Chemistry: Before develop and improve our skills is Group. Leadership, for example, is offerings at BASF. It is a learning
becoming head of Human something we all share. However, one of them: In a global competency platform that combines global
Resources, you were responsible there are significant differences model, we describe the behaviors opportunities for further training with
for BASFs engineering plastics between us in terms of how we learn, that we expect from our employees regional offers, enabling employees
business. Where do you see how quickly we learn and what we and managers. For other topics, the to create their very own personalized
thebiggest challenges in your learn. For example, take a look at local companies can fill in the details learning program. In this way, we
new position? Asias emerging markets: People of the framework. In other words: We support their personal and career
Dr. Wolfgang Hapke: For me, it there have a very strong desire to want to provide attractive offerings for development. At the same time, we
is the responsibility of reconciling catch up to the West as quickly our employees worldwide, including are doing something beneficial for our
the ambitions and expectations of as possible, so they are incredibly compensation, benefits and a business because we have integrated
more than 110,000 employees with keen and willing to learn. People in working environment that is oriented the goals of our corporate strategy
social influences and the needs of China are mainly interested in the towards the employees stages of into the learning programs. Thishelps
our business units. From my own technology of the future. Almost life and focuses on their personal us prepare our employees for the
experience, I know how important it nobody there is familiar with the old- development. Every company then challenges they will face in ten or
is for human resources and operating style tube televisions, for example, tailors these offerings to the locally 20years time.
divisions to work closely together. but they do know all about the latest prevailing conditions.
I see my task as ensuring that new technologies. In relation to human What does a company have to
demands from theoperations side of resources work, this means that Why, in your opinion, does offer its employees these days?
our business are implemented quickly we need to find the right way to life-long learning play such Money alone is certainly not
in our personnel activities. This integrate important global topics and akeyrole? sufficient. Employees today want
enables us to support our employees implement them in the environment People who continue learning a compelling total package:
in their day-to-day work. And by specific to each culture and country. throughout their lives are simply interesting responsibilities, personal
the same token, we try to recognize more successful. The same is true development and a work environment
human resources trends at an early Could you give us an example? for companies. For us, it is important that is both flexible and stable.
stage and integrate these in our work. How does an international to be prepared for constant change Furthermore, we are finding it is
This allows us to offer good service company combine regional and keep our employees fit. This is becoming more important to achieve
to the business units in the long term. andglobal aspects in its why we offer learning opportunities to better work-life management. At
The two most important trends, in my personnel strategy? employees throughout their entire our largest site in Ludwigshafen,
opinion, are employee development BASF has a global strategy. Based career. We are also introducing a Germany, we are currently building
and life-long learning. on this, we have developed our new global concept for employee a new Center for Work-Life
BestTeam Strategy. It sets out the development. The key to this concept Management including a day care
You have spent several years most important human resources is that employees and managers center, social counseling and a fitness
working in the United States and topics for the coming years: excellent share responsibility for the individual studio, all under one roof. But there
in Hong Kong. Have you noticed people, an excellent place to work development steps and measures. is more to work-life management as
any differences in professional and excellent leaders. This will Employees who help shape their well, for example, flexible working
development and learning? improve our leadership culture. That own personal development are more hours and a management culture that
People are different in different is our global framework. There are motivated and better performers. Our allows that. As you can see, life-long
regions and yet they have much some topics at BASF where we Learning Campus demonstrates how learning is also essential in human
in common. The need to constantly want a uniform approach across the we implement our life-long learning resourceswork.

Creating Chemistry | 41
True blue

A glimpse
Blue is the color of many gods and the
color of jeans. In 2013, the pants made
of blue denim are celebrating their 140th
birthday. Blue jeans were patented by

around the
textile merchant Levi Strauss and tailor
Jacob Davis on May 20, 1873. Their
characteristic blue color comes from
indigo dye, which was first synthesized

globe: colors
by BASF in 1897.

They can create moods, symbolize tradition or

stand for new technologies colors really grab
our attention. Our glimpse around the globe
features colorful phenomena from around the
world and explains what is behind them.

Pink prisons
Color therapy is going behind
bars. The first prisons in Germany,
Switzerland and the United States
have started painting the cells of
especially aggressive inmates pink.
Why? According to the theory that
colors can have a psychological
effect on people, pink is believed
to be calming.

Super black blocker

It does not get much blacker than this:
The U.S. space agency NASA has developed a
super black which can be used, for example,
to block stray light in satellite instruments. This
coating made of nanomaterial can absorb up Paint the town red
to 99% of infrared, ultraviolet and visible light. It is a very popular color for houses
Miniscule gaps between the carbon nanotubes in the Nordic countries: This copper-based
capture stray light and prevent it from red, once a waste product from a copper
reflecting off surfaces. mine in the Swedish town of Falun, was
found to be a good and inexpensive coating
for wood. Today, most wooden houses in
Sweden and its northern neighbors are
painted in falurd, or Falu red. Not only is the
color symbolic of a Scandinavian idyll, it also
serves to preservethe wood.

42 | Creating Chemistry
A glimpse of brown
What is the most common eye color
in the world? Brown! Originally, all humans
had brown eyes. Today, around 90%
of the worlds population still does.
But not in the area around the Baltic Sea:
In Estonia, for example, the vast majority
of people have blue eyes. Green means go!
Bright, leafy green and elegant, dark
green will be the car colors of the future,
according to BASFs global design
team. These shades reflect a spirit of
optimism and societys changing values,
the designers believe. Green provides a
colorful counterweight to the increasingly
technological and virtual world we

Red, yellow and green unite

The pan-African colors are red, yellow and
green. They are used in 16 national flags in Africa
and express the political unity among these
nations. The meaning of the colors varies from
country to country. In Guinea, for example, red
symbolizes the sacrifice for liberation, yellow
stands for the sun as well as the riches of the earth
and green for the countrys vegetation.

White facade
Pierrot, Frances sad clown,
wears a white costume and his
face is painted like a mask. The
color white emphasizes his facial
expressions, strengthens the effect
of his pantomime and underscores
his melancholy.

Orange enlightenment
In Buddhist countries, orange is
often associated with the robes of the
Shaolin monks. Their robes, known
as kasaya, were originally sewn
together from patches of material
dyed with saffron and turmeric, which
gave them their color. To this day,
the color stands for wisdom, maturity
and the highest level of
human understanding.

Creating Chemistry | 43
Feature: Food and nutrition

44 | Creating Chemistry
Young goat herders in South Sudan drink
dam water through a filtration pipe that
protects them from Guinea worm. The
pipe was provided by The Carter Center
as part of its efforts to eradicate Guinea
worm disease.

Shining a light on
hidden diseases
There is a group of diseases that have plagued humanity for centuries and
which today blight the lives of a billion people in 149 countries worldwide. The
impact on individuals and communities is immense and yet, until recently, they
attracted little attention and little was done to combat them. That has changed
over the past few decades. Efforts are now beginning to show results. But the
battle is not yet won.

he Guinea worm is a parasite that Those who suffer from NTDs are largely disen-
has tormented human beings since franchised. They were described by World Health
ancient times. One has even been Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Margaret
found, calcified, in an Egyptian Chan, in the first ever WHO report on NTDs in
mummy. Today, people continue 2010, as largely hidden and largely silent.
to catch the disease by drinking
straight from ponds or other water sources that Controlling diseases
are infested with minuscule fleas. These fleas have WHO itself helped raise the profile of these
eaten Guinea worm larvae which can penetrate diseases a decade ago when the organizations
the human intestinal wall. A female larva, having then Director-General, Dr. Lee Jong-wook,
mated with the male, grows in the human body instigated a key branding exercise to bring them
into a meter-long worm that mines through the to the worlds attention. A WHO department
subcutaneous tissue. Usually heading down to nebulously dealing with Other Communicable
the persons feet, the worm exudes acid to form a Diseases was scrapped and the Neglected
blister and breaks through the skin. Its emergence Tropical Diseases banner was adopted as a
is excruciatingly slow. more focused target. There are now 17 diseases
Winding the worm round a stick, daily, is all classified by WHO as NTDs.
that can be done to hasten recovery. A patient But this was not the first attempt to tackle
can be incapacitated for weeks. Children miss these diseases. In some cases, efforts had been
school. Adults cannot farm their crops. Worse, going on for decades. The global Guinea Worm
to soothe the burning pain, sufferers are drawn Eradication Program got rolling in the 1980s at
to bathe in the local water source, whereupon the the United States federal Centers for Disease
worm immediately releases thousands of larvae, Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.
perpetuating the cycle. In 1982, the former U.S. President Jimmy Carter
and his wife Rosalynn founded The Carter Center
Largely hidden as a not-for-profit NGO dedicated to human rights
Guinea worm disease is one of a group of diverse and the alleviation of suffering. It has spearheaded
diseases known as neglected tropical diseases the Guinea Worm Eradication Program since
(NTDs). NTDs flourish mainly in impoverished 1986, with Dr. Donald R. Hopkins from CDC
environments, particularly in tropical areas. becoming The Carter Centers Vice President for
Although they do not cause the same numbers Health Programs. Hopkins brought with him the
of deaths as tuberculosis or malaria, for example, experience of overseeing the smallpox eradication
they not only devastate individual lives, but also program in Sierra Leone.
damage whole communities and, indeed, national The Carter Center helped to develop cost-
economies by locking so many citizens in the effective strategies to tackle Guinea worm disease
poverty trap. such as providing at-risk communities with fine-
Previously more widespread, NTDs have mesh cloths to enable them to sieve out the fleas,
gradually disappeared from places where living and pipes with filters that can be used like drinking
conditions and hygiene have improved. Today the straws. Health education for the local communities
populations most blighted are the desperately is a vital accompaniment, for example, using a
poor, in rural areas and urban slums in Africa, magnifying glass to show people the fleas in the
Asia and the Americas, where whole communities water and explaining the transmission process. The
still lack adequate access to clean water, good aim is to spark behavior changes. If sufferers stop
nutrition, sanitation or quality-assured healthcare. entering the water source, the cycle can be broken. >>

Creating Chemistry | 45
Feature: Food and nutrition

Engaging at the local level illness ever to be wiped out was

Its not about just telling people smallpox, back in the 1970s, following
what to do. Immediately challenging a major global effort. Unlike smallpox,

Many developed
traditional beliefs is a non-starter, Guinea worm disease is being wiped
Hopkins stresses. Some African out without a vaccine or medicine.

countries havent
villagers, for instance, regard their Dr. Lorenzo Savioli, Director of
water source as sacred. But, says WHOs Department of Control of

addressed the issue of

Hopkins, if you genuinely discuss, Neglected Tropical Diseases, is
engage and convince them that grateful. Wed never be where we are

day-biting vectors at all.

its in their interests, theyll take the today if it werent for President Carter.
necessary action. If we had, for each of the 17 NTDs, an

This is a time bomb if

Working in partnership with the ambassador of that level, life would
ministries of health, teams of village be much easier.

wedont do something.
volunteers are trained to check Savioli believes that we have
that their neighbors understand the come a long way. In January 2012,
Dr. Lorenzo Savioli, transmission cycle, take in hand WHO published its NTD Roadmap,
Director of WHOs Department of Control anyone who becomes infected, adocument that expressed mounting
of Neglected Tropical Diseases administer basic health care, call confidence and called for scaled-up
in more expert assistance to stem interventions against Guinea worm
any burgeoning problem and report and other NTDs, setting ambitious
all new cases so that progress goals to be achieved by 2015 and
and any aberrations are closely 2020. Inspired by the Roadmap,
monitored and analyzed. government officials, NGOs and
Another important factor is that pharmaceutical companies swiftly
standing water sources can be launched the London Declaration, a
sprayed with a larvicide, such as vow to cooperate even more actively
BASFs Abate, to interrupt the cycle. to help eradicate Guinea worm, and
The active ingredient in Abate, to control or regionally eliminate at
Temephos, is recommended by WHO least nine other NTDs by 2020.
for use in drinking-water sources
at concentrations not exceeding Ending preventable blindness
onemilligram per liter. BASF has Another NTD where progress
made a long-term commitment to is beginning to be made is river
The Carter Center, and Abate has blindness, or onchocerciasis. It is
been supplied, free of charge, for the one of the worlds largest causes of
Guinea Worm Eradication Program preventable blindness and is among
for more than 20 years. the diseases flagged in the Roadmap
and Declaration. The Carter Center
Personal commitment isalso targeting it.
Meanwhile, President Carter has Another parasitic worm infection,
used his status around the world to river blindness can cause terrible
galvanize political leaders. In 1995, he itching and disfiguring leopard skin,
even brokered a truce in the midst of together with eye lesions that can
the Sudanese civil war, so that health lead to blindness. This worm breeds
workers could reach remote areas. inside people who have been bitten
This became known as the Guinea many times by infected black flies.
worm cease-fire. Insecticide can be of assistance
Even now, in his late 80s, again, hampering this cycle of
President Carter continues to visit contamination. BASF has expanded
Below Students distribute
remote African communities with his its long-standing collaboration with
pamphlets in Lahore, Pakistan,
duringan awareness campaign wife. As he explains: There were The Carter Center to contribute an
onDenguefever. over 26,000 villages with Guinea extra 4,670 liters of Abate to the
worm disease when we started out, Centers river blindness program in
and only about 3% of the men could Uganda by 2020.
write their name, and very few of the Medicines also enter the equation
women. So weve taught them to with this NTD. Although there is no
change their behavior without written available vaccine, the 1990s saw
language, primarily using cartoons mass drug administration schemes
and pictures. treating the infected. With its
The programs tactics have Onchocerciasis Elimination Program
proved highly effective. In 1986, for the Americas, and working
Guinea worm disease afflicted in cooperation with the African
approximately 3.5 million people a Program for Onchocerciasis Control,
year in 21 nations. In 2012, there were The Carter Center has been active
just 542 cases reported a reduction in combating this disease in ten
of over 99% and they occurred countries to date. Were very close
only in isolated areas of Chad, to finishing with river blindness in
Ethiopia, Mali and South Sudan. It the Americas, says Hopkins. Only
looks as if Guinea worm disease will two small endemic zones remain, in
be eradicated soon, which will be Brazil and Venezuelas cross-border
no small feat. The only other human jungle. The assumption has always

46 | Creating Chemistry
Dengue fever facts and figures
* A vector is an organism
How is it spread? Dengue ranks as the fastest spreading that carries pathogens
It is spread primarily by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which vector*-borne viral disease in the world. which are transferable
unlike most mosquitoes are active during the daytime.
Infected humans serve as a carrier, transmitting the virus to
mosquitoes that bite them and thus perpetuating the cycle.

Where is it found?
It is typically found in tropical and sub-tropical regions, There has been a 30-fold increase
especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America, but recently inincidence over the past 50 years.
alsoinparts of Europe (Croatia, France, Madeira).

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms are fever, headaches and bone, muscle and joint pain.

How do you treat it?

There is no specific medication, but symptoms can be Numbers of countries reporting cases
managed by taking acetaminophen, drinking plenty of ofdengue:
fluids andresting.
1955: 3
How serious is it?
1969: 9
It usually clears up within two weeks. There are four different
strains of the infection and recovery provides life-long immunity 2012: 125
against that particular strain. But subsequent infections from
other strains increase the risk of developing severe dengue, It is estimated that more than
which can be very dangerous. 2.5 billion people over 40% ofthe worlds
population are now at risk from dengue.
Can it be prevented?
There is no vaccine. To prevent catching it, in high risk areas
wear protective clothing and use mosquito repellent day
Source: World Health
Organization (WHO)

been that river blindness in Africa is Medicine. He has also worked for Chagas is much more than a simple and Europe. International cargos of
too pervasive to eliminate. Yet with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases infectious disease, says Dr. Hctor bamboo and tires provide a breeding
concentrated efforts, Sudan recently Initiative and has carried out research Freilij, medical advisor to the National habitat, and tiger mosquitoes can
stopped transmission in the Abu on the drug miltefosine as a potential Chagas Program in Argentina. It survive even freezing conditions.
Hamad region north of the capital treatment for another NTD. His tests is linked to the economic, social In 2012, dengue was declared
Khartoum. And the government of suggest that it might combat the and educational conditions of the fastest spreading, vector-borne,
Uganda, Hopkins points out, is Chagas disease parasite as well. thepopulation. viral disease with epidemic potential.
determined to end transmission by Atpresent, though, no vaccine Local transmission had been
2020, nationwide. exists and diagnosing Chagas is The fastest spreading NTD reported in France and Croatia in
tricky. Thedrugs currently used Because of global travel, cases 2010. Then in 2012, the Portuguese
Hygiene and education for treatment work best during the of Chagas disease have been Madeira islands startlingly saw 1,800
Progress in combating some other diseases early phase. However, it increasingly cropping up in North infected, with imported instances
NTDs has been more difficult. is along time before most people America and Europe. A greater cause detected in further European coun-
Chagas disease is potentially realize they are infected. Patients of rapidly escalating alarm worldwide, tries. By January 2013, WHOs
life-threatening. It is caused by a suffer enlargement of the esophagus though, is dengue fever, which is second NTD Report did not mince its
protozoan parasite spread by insects or colon, which causes malnutrition, demanding urgent attention (see box words. The world needs to change
known as assassin bugs or kissing and they can also suffer heart failure. above). Thought to be as widespread its reactive approach, it stated.
bugs. Up to 8 million people are The most impressive effects so as malaria, the mosquito-borne virus Savioli underlines: Many developed
infected, most in Latin America, far have been with vector* control, incidence has soared 30-fold in countries havent addressed the
where the kissing bugs infest the says Croft. That means employing 50 years. Each year, 50 million issue of day-biting vectors at all.
cracks of poorly-constructed homes mosquito nets and insecticidal wall infections occur in more than This is a time bomb if we dont
and can contaminate food and sprays such as BASFs Fendona 100 countries. Afrequent cause dosomething.
drink. The bugs feed on blood and forindoor use. of hospitalization and death
their feces infect the bite wound. But a large part of the solution among children, it produces flu-like
Furthermore, there is also a risk that comes down to improved hygiene. symptoms which can intensify into
mothers will transmit this illness to This involves educating people about severe dengue, withhemorrhagic
their babies during pregnancy or the disease and helping them to complications.
childbirth, or that it can be spread by prevent infection. A project run by Insecticides can be used, but no
blood transfusions. BASF in Argentina aims to do just medical cure has been found and
The problem is that, in relation that. Vamos por nuestro pas (Lets the primary vector, the yellow fever To learn more about the NTDs
to treatment, we have seen no go for our country) is a community- mosquito, is a daytime bloodsucker prioritized by WHO, see:
improvement for decades, says development program, working so bed nets will not help. A secon-
Professor Simon Croft, Ph.D., of the with villagers in Chaco province to dary vector, the tiger mosquito, has diseases/en/
London School of Hygiene & Tropical tackle Chagas (see box on page 49). spread the disease to North America

Creating Chemistry | 47
Feature: Food and nutrition

Decades of dedication
Above Former U.S. President
Jimmy Carter tries to comfort
a 6-year-old girl at a hospital
in Ghana as a Carter Center

tofighting disease
volunteer dresses her
extremely painful Guinea
worm wound.

Founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, TheCarter
Center has led the Guinea Worm Eradication Program since the1980s. With Guinea
worm disease poised to be the second-ever human disease to be eradicated,
Jimmy Carter and Dr. Donald R. Hopkins the Centers Vice President for Health
Programs talk about the fight against neglected tropical diseases.

Creating Chemistry: What have been the town of Savelugu where they had an explosion of charitable organizations like the Bill & Melinda Gates
biggest challenges in combating Guinea cases of Guinea worm disease. So we went up Foundation. Some countries Great Britain and
worm disease? to this epicenter and there were at least 200 kids the United Arab Emirates among them have been
President Jimmy Carter: The lack of attention there crying, including infants, having their worms very generous to The Carter Center. And President
from the rich world. The first thing is for the rich extracted rolled up out of their bodies. It was just Barack Obama recently made a speech promising
world to be generous. The second challenge is terrible to see. That was the worst moment that I to give more to neglected tropical diseases.
that the people who have these diseases, living recall in the Guinea worm fight. Some of the good
in the most isolated communities, have very little moments have just been going into villages and How important are contributions by the
communication with their central governments, seeing how people, in all of their material poverty, private sector?
oraccess to the media. are so spiritually rich and so caring. I draw energy Hopkins: Beside cash donations, the early
from that. contributions of the filter material and insecticides
Dr. Donald R. Hopkins: Early on internationally werent only important for their epidemiological
and in the endemic countries we had to contend Carter: Weve had very difficult problems in some impact. It also gave a kind of legitimacy, the fact that
with a lack of knowledge about Guinea worm countries. For instance in Ghana, we had Guinea the private sector was willing to come forward. It
disease and with apathy. Now, Id say, the biggest worm down to just a few hundred cases. Then gave encouragement to the endemic countries that
challenges are the insecurity situations. Weve got the government changed from Jerry Rawlings these companies cared. And it made international
insecurity in four of the endemic countries, meaning administration, which had addressed the disease as agencies, ministries of health and others sit up and
helpers cannot safely travel to these areas: in Mali a top priority. The new government didnt want to take notice. That was the political impact.
and some parts of Ethiopia, Chad and South Sudan. address it, which prevented their making progress
for five or six years. But eventually they did, then What more needs to be done to control
Are there any moments that have been we very quickly did away with the disease there. neglected tropical diseases?
marker points for you? We have been happy every time we have done Hopkins: A lot of these diseases could be better
Hopkins: Absolutely. One of the most striking, away with the disease in one village or in one entire controlled, particularly now that we have drugs
looking back, was in February 2007 when I went country. Weve also been very fortunate, not only even donated drugs to combat river blindness,
with President Carter to Ghana, to the northern in getting help from companies like BASF and various intestinal parasites and other neglected

48 | Creating Chemistry
tropical diseases. So we have those drugs and we Rooting out the kissing bug
need to apply the lessons weve learned about the
importance of health education and the value of How BASF is helping to control the insect that spreads Chagas disease
village volunteers doing regular surveillance.
The kissing bug sounds harmless enough, in Argentina who, together with their families,
Are there lessons you have learned from the butit is an insect whose bite can be dangerous, havecommitted to this project. As part of
Guinea Worm Eradication Program? if not deadly. That is because it carries with it the three-year program, which has now been
Carter: What Ive learned is that as soon as these the parasite that causes Chagas, a disease that extended to run a further year until July 2014,
people in the villages are given the necessary startswith swelling of the eyelids, fever and BASF Argentina is not only supplying Fendona
help, the opportunity and the knowledge, they will fatigue, but can lead to malnutrition, cardiac an insecticide which can safely be sprayed inside
do the work thats required themselves. They are disorders and even heart failure. It is considered homes it is also providing its expertise to the
remarkably hardworking and enthusiastic. primarily to be a disease of poverty, but there have local authorities and local people.
also been significant numbers of cases in Europe A vital part of the program is to increase
Hopkins: I would also underscore the value of and the United States, caused by travel and peoples understanding of Chagas, to encourage
marshalling data in a way that motivates people. bloodtransfusion. the proper use of medicines and the insecticide,
Let them see the impact of what theyve done so Triatoma infestans to give the insect its and to foster active community engagement.
far and if you can compare that to adjacent scientific name is endemic in many areas Anetwork of strategic partners has been created,
countries or districts to really get the competitive in LatinAmerica, where it is also known as including the regional government, institutions
juices flowing. Vinchuca. WHO estimates that 8 million people in the town such as the hospital and school,
are affected by it here. One example is Chaco, and Solidagro an NGO specializing in local
You have achieved a great deal over the past aprovince in the remote north east of Argentina. development. Training courses are run for local
years what have been the main driving Here, the small town of Concepcin del Bermejo people explaining how to stop the bugs from
factors? is home to around 10,000 people, many of whom breeding inside their homes and contaminating
Hopkins: We owe a lot to President Carter he is live in extreme poverty with inadequate access food and kitchen utensils.
driven, very detail-oriented and focused, and just to clean water, healthcare, education and decent An innovative online management system
inspiring. He has taken this cause on and hes very, housing. The incidence of Chagas has been has been developed for monitoring progress and
very tenacious. In the beginning, people werent highamong adults and children, with many of the knowledge gained is being exchanged with
paying attention to Guinea worm disease, either theroughly 170 rural dwellings and a large number other municipalities, provincial authorities and
in the international community or the endemic ofthe 1,900 urban homes infested by the blood- NGOs to produce a joint study of best practices.
countries themselves. President Carter got very suckinginsects. The results so far have been encouraging. The
important publicity about what we were doing. Since 2010, BASF Argentina has been proportion of infected houses in the rural area
He was also very active in helping to raise money committed to the community-based project has been reduced from 17.9% in 2010 to 2.9%
and in-kind donations, with the insecticide Abate Vamos por nuestro pas (Lets go for our outdoor and 0% indoor infestation in 2013.
being the first big contribution in 1989. And he has country) in this area. In cooperation with the Vamos por nuestro pas is a self-sustaining
been able to mobilize people, not just leaders at National Chagas Disease Program of the project that will permit continuity and outreach to
the international agencies and donor agencies. He Argentinian Ministry of Health, the project utilizes other communities after BASFs participation and
visits countries, meets heads of state and ministers BASFs existing knowledge and state-of-the-art can serve as a template for other programs tackling
of health, as well as calling or writing them, and technology to help control, monitor and treat the insect-borne diseases.
he goes out to villages. Mrs. Carter has also been disease. Vamos por nuestro pas is different The experience of being involved in this award-
very active, visiting the villages. Since President from other programs because it is sensitive to winning project has had a huge impact, says BASF
Carter is 17 years older than me, I have no basis the needs of the people affected by Chagas. No employee Hoyos. We have seen that we can help
for complaining of being tired or anything like that! one else meets those needs, explains Marcelo people to help themselves and it has taught me
Hes constantly saying, Why dont you call on Hoyos, technical marketing manager for BASFs to re-evaluate the importance of the family and
memore? Pest Control Solutions business and one of the education as the basis for improving the quality
50BASF volunteers from different business units oflife. But the battle has only just begun!
What are your key goals for the coming years?
Hopkins: First, finish up with Guinea worm
globally. Second, finish up with river blindness
in the Americas and help promote the idea of Left Carter Center Vice
eradicating it in Africa which is now appearing President for Health
Programs Dr. Donald R.
more and more possible. So, theres plenty to do.
Hopkins shows children in
a village in South Sudan,
How long do you think it will be before Guinea where Guinea worm is
worm disease is eradicated and how will you endemic, how a pipe filter
should be used in order to
rank that among your lifes achievements?
prevent infection.
Carter: We think within two years we will be
through with Guinea worm. Its eradication would
be one of the most gratifying things in my life,
because it has affected so many people. Its been
one of the most challenging and long-lasting
efforts Ive ever made. Id say it would even be
equal to the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty of 1979.

To find out more, visit:

Creating Chemistry | 49
Feature: Resources, environment and climate

CO2 from exhaust

gasto raw material
Airplane travelers know that fuel combustion creates CO2 emissions as
exhaust.But in the future, carbon dioxide could play a different role in aviation.
Researchers are working on how to use CO2 as a feedstock for the chemical
industry. One potential application could be formic acid, which can be used
tode-ice airport runways, among other things.

50 | Creating Chemistry
30 billion
Global CO 2 emissions have now reached
more than 30 billion metric tons annually.

20 million
Around 20 million metric tons of these
global emissions are already being used
as industrial gases.

110 million
Of the global CO 2 emissions, another
approximately 110 million metric tons
arecurrently being used as chemical

Source: Society for Chemical Engineering

andBiotechnology (DECHEMA)

hat if carbon dioxide was
not just an exhaust gas but
could, instead, be used as
afeedstock for the chemical
industry? It is, after all,
inexpensive and available
in large quantities. CO2 is produced by any
combustion of carbon-containing fuels, mainly for
transportation and heating. Such fuels, especially
crude oil, are the basis for the production of
numerous products in the chemical industry,
ranging from crop protection products to plastics
and medication. Since the carbon required for this
synthesis is also contained in CO2, carbon dioxide
could one day be a feedstock that replaces some
of the crude oil, a raw material that is expensive
and becoming scarcer.
Elsje Alessandra Quadrelli, Ph.D., is a chemist
at CPE Lyon (Ecole Suprieure de Chimie Physique
Electronique de Lyon) in France and carries out
research on behalf of the European Union on ideas
for utilizing CO2. According to her calculations,
between 250 million and 350 million metric tons
of CO2 could be saved in the future provided
that all technologies for CO2 utilization are fully
The chemical industry implemented, the necessary energy loops are
produces 600,000 metric fedwith renewable energy (see box on page53)
tons of formic acid and that fossil fuels are partially replaced by
worldwide each year. The
carbon dioxide. She believes the advantages
acid is used, for example,
in aviation to de-ice are obvious: conserving fossil energy sources,
runways. lowering the chemical industrys dependence on
fossil raw materials and promoting the expansion
of renewable energy, among others.
In the Raw Material Change technology field,
BASF experts are therefore conducting research>>

Creating Chemistry | 51
Feature: Resources, environment and climate

Right In the future,

companies such as the
Icelandic firm Carbon
Recycling International want
to utilize the geothermal
energy from Icelands hot
springs as a natural source of
energy to produce methanol
from CO2. Geothermal energy
is already being used today:
Icelands Blue Lagoon is a
geothermal spa that offers
afun bathing experience for
tourists and locals and is fed
by water from the nearby
Svartsengi geothermal

on methods for using alternative in Berlin in 2013 attended by partners steam that arise from the production
raw materials and evaluating these from science and industry working processes in one plant are used in
processes with a view to balancing in this area. Nevertheless, the use other plants as raw materials and
technological, environmental and of CO2 could make a contribution to energy. This system is known as
economic considerations. After resource conservation, she added. the Production Verbund. Some of
all, such investments will only be the CO2 arising in the production
economically viable in the long term Products made of carbon dioxide complex could someday be
if these promising technologies can Many potential applications are still integrated into this concept for
be implemented at a reasonable a long way off, but there are already example, to make formic acid.
price. To some extent, CO2 can some products made using CO2 as This acid is a well established
supplement the chemical industrys a feedstock. One of these is salicylic chemical product. Each year,
raw materials portfolio for certain acid, a precursor to aspirin. CO2 600,000 metric tons of it are
applications, says Dr. Peter is also what makes carbonated produced worldwide. Animal feed
Schuhmacher, head of BASFs beverages bubbly. Huge volumes producers, for example, use formic
Process Research and Chemical of the gas are also used to produce acid as a preservative. It is also useful
Engineering technology platform. The urea, which is mainly required to as a de-icing agent for runways and
gas can be obtained in places where make fertilizer. CO2 is used as a streets as well as for high-quality
it is released in large quantities, such cooling and refrigerating agent in leather processing. In addition, formic
as power plants or chemical factories. the food industry and helps keep acid is a highly effective limescale
However, using CO2 as a packaged meat and sausages fresh remover in household and industrial
feedstock will not eliminate the for longer. Dry cleaners also use cleaning. However, the conventional
climate impact of emissions. More ittoremove dirt from clothes. method of synthetically producing
than 30 billion metric tons of carbon In the future, the goal will be to this acid from carbon monoxide and
dioxide are currently released capture industrial gas emissions and water is fairly resource-intensive.
worldwide per year, but only a small re-use them. Researcher Quadrelli It requires a whole lot of energy to
share of this amount could be used describes this as a carbon dioxide ultimately produce a pure product,
as a raw material right now it is economy an economy that no says BASF researcher Dr. Rocco
only 0.4% of the global emissions. longer simply emits this gas, but also Paciello. He and his colleagues have
This will not save the climate, said finds new uses for it. therefore been working on a new,
Germanys Federal Minister for more efficient process for the past
Education and Research, Professor Formic acid from CO 2? few years. The experts are pinning
Dr. Johanna Wanka whose BASF is also working on CO2 their hopes on carbon dioxide.
ministry supports around 30 projects utilization. At the companys largest Chemically, formic acid is the most
on material utilization of CO2 in Verbund site in Ludwigshafen, similar to CO2, says Paciello. The
Germany speaking at a conference Germany, waste products and acid is therefore one of the products

52 | Creating Chemistry
Below CO2 could help
excess electricity from
solar panels and wind
turbines be used more

that could be produced from CO2 with A good alliance? CO2 and renewable energy
the smallest-possible energy input.
In theory, there are Carbon recycling is really only The Icelandic company Carbon
Challenges remain
There are, however, still a number
quite a number of helpful for the environment when
it binds more carbon dioxide than
Recycling International (CRI)
produces methanol from CO2
of challenges the BASF team has to possibilities with is released into the atmosphere. using the geothermal energy from
overcome. These are mainly related
to the thermodynamic characteristics
CO2, but it is an Ittakes a lot of energy to prompt
the inert CO2 molecules to react.
Icelands hot springs as a natural
source of energy. CRI opened the
of CO2: In theory, there are quite extremely low- So it makes little sense if this first commercial plant producing
a number of possibilities with CO2,
but it is an extremely low-energy,
energy, inert gas. energycomes from coal-fired power
plants, thus producing new CO2
methanol using this carbon-neutral
method in 2011. The company
inert gas. Most reactions therefore Dr. Rocco Paciello, emissions. Instead, experts say plans one day to produce as much
BASF Homogeneous Catalysis
require enormous amounts of energy. expanding windand solar energy as 50million liters of this alcohol
If the energy expenditure is too high, isessential. annually from carbon dioxide. It
the process is not cost-effective, Carbon dioxide might even can be used, for example, to create
says chemist Paciello, summarizing help excess green energy to be energy in fuel cells or it can be
theproblem. used more efficiently. These days, blended into gasoline.
The key to solving this problem renewable sources sometimes The companies BASF, Linde and
is finding the right catalysts produce more electricity than can ThyssenKrupp have recently started
substances that help kick-start the befed into the grid. With the power- a project to produce syngas from
reaction. They reduce the amount to-gas process, this energy could carbon dioxide and hydrogen in an
of activation energy required, be transformed into natural gas innovative two-step process. The
making the reaction more efficient. (methane) in a two-step process concept: In the first step, a new high-
It comes as no surprise then that using CO2 as a reactant. In a first temperature technology will process
more than 80% of all production step, the excess green electricity natural gas to obtain hydrogen
processes in the chemical industry is used as an energy input to turn and carbon. Compared to other
are based on catalysis, a cross- water (H2O) into hydrogen (H2) and processes, this technology produces
sectionaltechnology. oxygen (O2). The hydrogen then very little CO2. The hydrogen is then
The successful production of reacts with CO2 to form methane reacted with large volumes of CO2,
formic acid from CO2 also depends gas (CH4). Methane is an energy also from other industrial processes,
on the right catalyst. The chemistry store that can be easily fed into the tocreatesyngas. This gas is a
behind this process has been known existing natural gas network and can key raw material for the chemical
since the 1970s, but for a long time be used when needed. industry and is also suitable for
nobody had been able to put this producing fuels.
theory into practice in a >>

Creating Chemistry | 53
Feature: Resources, environment and climate

cost-effective way. We used manufactured from crude oil, is demand for chemicals that are
appropriate catalysts and changed including raw materials for coatings, not based on oil, according to the
the process to optimize energy says Heidelbergs Professor Dr. countrys Ministry of Economy, Trade
use, says Paciello. A pilot plant Peter Hofmann, who initiated the and Industry. It therefore supports
has already been built at BASF establishment of CaRLa. projects such as a pilot plant for
inLudwigshafen. artificial photosynthesis which
Support from policymakers opened at the end of 2012. With the
First breakthroughs Governments are also providing help of light and catalysts, this facility
Researchers around the world are financial support to help launch new will utilize carbon dioxide from a
making their first breakthroughs in projects related to CO2 utilization. neighboring power plant to produce
projects to turn CO2 into a chemical The U.S. Department of Energy, for hydrocarbons raw materials for the
feedstock. Fundamental research, example, has invested approximately chemical industry.
as practiced mainly at universities, $100 million in projects of this type All these initiatives encourage
is a big contributor to this success, in recent years. By 2016, Germany the development of new processes
as is technology transfer from the wants to invest the equivalent based on CO2 that help conserve
laboratory to industrial applications. of $132 million (100 million) in resources. However, the possibilities
That is why the University of innovative CO2 ideas, while another of recycling carbon dioxide should
Heidelberg in Germany and BASFs roughly $66 million (50 million) not lead to wasteful consumption of
Process Research and Chemical will be coming from industry. The fossil fuels, stresses BASF researcher
Engineering competence center Chinese government also believes Paciello: It is important to prevent
teamed up in 2006 to found the in the potential of feedstock based emissions in the first place and
jointly operated Catalysis Research on carbon dioxide: Together with everyone can do their part to help
Laboratory (CaRLa) in Heidelberg, partners, it is spending the equivalent with this.
where the partners work on of nearly $200 million (150 million)
developing new catalysts (see feature on national projects for CO2 recycling,
on page 55). One of the research according to the Society for Chemical
focus areas at CaRLa is finding Engineering and Biotechnology
suitable catalysts for using carbon (DECHEMA). Japan, as well, wants
dioxide as a feedstock to produce to reduce its dependence on crude
certain plastics that are currently oil. In light of the rising prices, there

Left A clever solution:

Thebacterium Basfia
succiniciproducens should
one day produce succinic
acid and bind CO2 as well.

Promising bacteria from the stomach of cows

Basfia succiniciproducens BASF researchers have high expectations for

this bacterium. It plays an important role in BASFs technology field White
Biotechnology, which aims to use microorganisms to manufacture chemical
and biochemical products. Through natural fermentation, bacteria from
the Basfia succiniciproducens strain will soon be able to produce succinic
acid while binding carbon dioxide. At the end of this year, BASF and its
partner Purac plan to open a jointly operated production plant for succinic
acid in Spain with an annual capacity of 10,000 metric tons. If the project
is successful, another larger plant will be built. Succinic acid is used today
in applications such as bioplastics, chemical intermediates, solvents and
plasticizers. BASF researchers were the first to isolate the bacterium from
the rumen of a cow in 2005, which is why the company name is contained
inthe word Basfia. The word succiniciproducens means producing

54 | Creating Chemistry
Catalysts help transform CO2
How can CO2 an inert, low-energy gas be turned
intoaraw material? Researchers from the University of
Heidelberg and BASF have set out to answer this question.
In the catalysis laboratory CaRLa, their projects include
finding appropriate catalysts for CO2 reactions. Patience
and perseverance are needed when it comes to finding
amatchmaker like this that can make a reaction more
efficient, as a visit at CaRLa reveals.

Right A scientist connects

CO2 to the pressure tank
for the reaction. The gas
will react with ethylene
anda base to form

Left Dr. Michael

Limbachand Professor
Dr.Peter Hofmann
examine the results of
thereaction. Thedesired
product isdissolved in the
light-colored layer at the
bottom of the container.

Opening a red metal cupboard, Dr. Michael Then the whole process starts again. Optimal a few promising ones. It first modeled these step-
Limbach points to some cartridges. These are catalysts do this millions of times per hour. by-step on a computer before testing them. It was
run-of-the-mill gas canisters filled with carbon The heart of the new catalyst is a nickel a very clean study of the elementary steps. We
dioxide, just like the ones used for beer dispensers atom. The metal acts as the matchmaker and is wanted to understand why others who tried before
at a beer tent, the chemist explains. But Limbach surrounded by helper atoms which ensure that us had failed, explains Limbach.
and his colleagues at the Catalysis Research only a specific type and volume of the molecules While the new catalyst can get the job done,
Laboratory (CaRLa) at the University of Heidelberg from each of the raw materials make it into the the experts know it needs to be much more
have unconventional plans. Together with their heart of the catalyst to be combined. Catalysts productive. Right now, ten molecules of sodium
cooperation partners from the University of can be built together like Lego blocks, Hofmann acrylate are produced for each catalyst molecule.
Stuttgart, the Technical University of Munich (TUM) says. The trick is constructing them in such a way We would be happy if we could get this number
and BASF subsidiary hte AG, they want to use this that only the desired reaction takes place without up to one hundred, says Hofmann. But in order
gas to make sodium acrylate, which is part of an any unwanted by-products. to implement the process on an industrial scale,
important value chain at BASF. CaRLa was founded in 2006 as a pilot project this figure would have to be at least 1,000 times
There are only limited feedstock resources for of the Industry on Campus strategic initiative at the higher. However, the fundamental researchers
the traditional method of production based on University of Heidelberg, which is recognized as a will not have to continue working on the reaction
crude oil. We have therefore been looking for a University of Excellence in Germany. Since then, until then they are letting their research partners
new process to manufacture sodium acrylate, Hofmann, Limbach and twelve other scientists from BASF take over the next step. What we are
Limbach explains. He represents BASFs research from around the world have been working hard building here is like the motor for a small car, which
division in the management team of CaRLa, a new on catalyst research. According to Hofmann, the industry will later use to create the Lamborghini
and innovative model of cooperation with scientists catalysts play a vital role in the chemical industry: model, says Limbach, describing how the work is
from the University of Heidelberg specialized in They are needed to produce around 80% of all divided. By next year at the latest, the Heidelberg
fundamental chemistry research. The idea sounds chemical products. The development of catalysts scientists want to hand over the project to BASF
simple: combining carbon dioxide a waste for demanding and complex reactions such as for fine tuning.
product of industry and ethylene to produce the reaction to sodium acrylate requires a deep, In Heidelberg, everything is still being done
thesalt. fundamental understanding at the molecular level; on a small scale. The reactions are carried out
Although researchers discovered 30 years ago sometimes this can be an undertaking lasting in metal containers the size of a water glass and
that this reaction is theoretically possible, nobody several years with an unknown outcome. At the final product still fits into small glass bottles.
had been able to make it work until the CaRLa CaRLa, our direct link to the university gives us Limbach expects it will still be a few years until this
team achieved its breakthrough in 2012. The key opportunities for extensive fundamental research, innovative sodium acrylate will be launched on
to their success was a catalyst that brings together says theprofessor. the market by which time the conventional gas
the starting materials. Limbachs colleague from It took the scientists two years to build the right canisters will be far too small.
the University of Heidelberg, Professor Dr. Peter matchmaker, as catalysts are sometimes called
Hofmann, explains the principle: A catalyst because of the way they pair up two substances.
molecule suspended in a solution takes a molecule We took a very systematic and rational approach
from one substance and one from another to the problem, Limbach says. Instead of
substance, combines them in several steps and conducting many experiments with various types To find out more, visit:
releases the new substance back into the liquid. of catalysts, the team concentrated exclusively on

Creating Chemistry | 55

Carl Bosch

is arrival in Ludwigshafen heralded
the beginning of a truly remarkable
career: Having just completed
his doctorate in chemistry at the
Frederick William University in
Berlin (now Humboldt University),
Carl Bosch joined BASF in 1899, where the
25-year-old was given a research task that would
shape the rest of his life. His challenge was to find
out how to synthetically combine nitrogen and
hydrogen to create ammonia.
The big breakthrough came in 1913. Carl
Bosch was able to take the ammonia synthesis
process developed by Fritz Haber and move it
from the laboratory to industrial-scale production.
He thus made it possible to independently
produce mineral fertilizers, of which ammonia is a
basic ingredient. His achievement helped to feed
millions of people worldwide. For this process,
Bosch developed a new high-pressure technology
using reliable plants with special reactors and
new kinds of steel. Since then, the Haber-Bosch
process has enabled large quantities of ammonia
to be produced from atmospheric nitrogen and
hydrogen which today is mostly derived from
natural gas using an iron catalyst.
One hundred years ago, BASF built the worlds
first industrial production plant for ammonia in
Oppau, now part of Ludwigshafen, Germany. At
the same time, Bosch was named an authorized
signatory of the company and became Chairman
of the Board of Executive Directors just six years
later. In 1925, he assumed the role of Chairman of
the newly founded company I.G. Farben, a merger
between BASF, Hchst, Bayer and other chemical
companies. When Adolf Hitler seized power in Ammonia synthesis
Germany, Bosch was faced with a moral conflict.
On the one hand, the business profited from The reactive partners in the Haber-Bosch process are hydrogen
the Nazis. On the other hand, Bosch who had and nitrogen, both diatomic gases. In order to turn these into
liberal leanings and vehemently rejected National ammonia, the strong triple bond in the nitrogen molecule and the
Socialism tried to persuade Hitler to save Jewish single bond in the hydrogen molecule both have to be broken.
scientists from persecution, but was unsuccessful. This requires a lot of energy or a catalyst like iron, which
Bosch subsequently retreated more and more lowers the amount of activation energy. But what happens on
into his private life, without quite turning his back the surface of the iron? Professor Dr. Gerhard Ertl (see page 57)
on the industry. He found refuge in the world discovered that the splitting of the nitrogen is the decisive step.
of science. As a child, he had collected insects The nitrogen molecule (N 2) interacts so strongly with the electrons
which he dissected or kept in heated terrariums on the metallic surface of the catalyst that the bond between the
he constructed himself. Over his lifetime, this two atoms in the nitrogen molecule is weakened and eventually
collection grew to include millions of beetles, breaks. This leaves both nitrogen atoms with three free electrons,
butterflies and minerals. Bosch even bought an enabling each atom to bond to three hydrogen atoms. At the end
additional house to store everything. To study the of the reaction chain, this combination forms ammonia as the
stars, he had two observatories built in his garden. final product. Chemical reactions on catalytic surfaces such as
The Nobel Prize he was awarded in 1931 was this one play an important role in many industrial applications,
surely the greatest recognition of his lifes work. from mineral fertilizers to exhaust gasscrubbing.
But this passionate observer of nature would have
certainly also appreciated another honor: In 1990,
50 years after his death, an asteroid 7414 Bosch A high-pressure reactor being built
was named after him. into the ammonia plant in 1921.

56 | Creating Chemistry
Gerhard Ertl

I use the methods

of physics to
answer questions
related to chemistry.
Professor Dr. Gerhard Ertl, former director of the
Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society
and Nobel Prize winner in chemistry in 2007

s a 12-year-old, Gerhard Ertl behind the famous process of ammonia synthesis. chemical reactions on a crystalline solid surface.
discovered his passion for Although, thanks to Carl Bosch, it had been His research made him one of the most important
chemistry thanks to a book called possible to manufacture ammonia on an industrial chemists of our time. Ertls choice of a topic
Successful chemical experiments scale since 1913, one question remained: What was clever and daring because at the time
(Chemische Experimente, exactly was happening in the reaction on the almost nothing was known about these phase
die gelingen). But his mother surface of the iron catalyst? Ertl was the first to boundaries. This proved to be a very fruitful
eventually put a stop to his experimentation discover the secret of the molecular reaction subject for my entire life, reflects the 77-year-old.
because of the strange noises and smells coming (see box on page 56) a milestone in the field of But life outside the laboratory has also always
from his bedroom, so Ertl turned his attention to modern surface chemistry, for which he was later been a priority for the interdisciplinary researcher.
physics and started building innocuous radios awarded the Nobel Prize. Bosch was the engineer Ertls family and music are important to him.
instead. His passion for these two branches of who enabled the large-scale application and I As a student, the passionate pianist was able
science would shape the rest of his life, eventually followed up later with the fundamental research, to support himself by playing music in a dance
even winning him the Nobel Prize. The physics says Ertl. Semiconductor physics first helped band. Today, the professor emeritus and former
professor was informed on his 71st birthday that him get started with the detailed study of surface director of the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max
he had been awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in processes. Planck Society in Berlin spends one evening a
Chemistry for his groundbreaking findings in the As a student of physical chemistry, Ertl wrote week as a rptiteur for the Berlin Oratorio Choir.
field of heterogeneous catalysis. his doctoral thesis on the solid-gas interface, But chemistry also gives Ertl an opportunity
I use the methods of physics to answer already working towards what would become for art appreciation: To this day, I still find
questions related to chemistry, says Ertl, his main subject matter. He received a post-doc aesthetic pleasure in a nice formula or a beautiful
describing his way of working. He also followed qualification (habilitation) at the age of 31 with microscopic pattern.
this approach in his research on the mechanisms his investigation of the structural problems of

Creating Chemistry | 57

How does toothpaste

clean your teeth?
To protect your teeth from cavity-causing bacteria, it is advisable to brush them
after every meal. But what exactly happens in your mouth when you do that?

The cleaning effect comes from abrasives, Tomorrows dental care

which are small particles in the toothpaste, such Together with the company OrganoBalance,
as silicate compounds, calcium carbonate or BASF is harnessing the power of a natural and
calcium sulfate. These abrasive materials have safe bacteria to improve daily oral care. The
microscopically small edges that help scrub away active ingredient pro-t-action contains a tiny
the plaque a tough layer of bacteria that cause microorganism that binds to the bacteria that
tooth decay from your teeth when you brush. cause tooth decay, creating little clumps that can
This process is facilitated by surfactants, surface- easily be washed out of the mouth.
active substances that create foam just as they
do in shower gel and shampoo and ensure that
the toothpaste is evenly distributed so that the
hard-to-reach spots also get clean.
But toothpaste should not just clean your teeth,
it should also protect them. It therefore includes
other ingredients, such as sodium fluoride or
stannous fluoride. Because tooth enamel is largely
made up of calcium, it can form bonds with the
fluoride, making the enamel harder and protecting
it from acids and cavity-causing bacteria. This
protection has to be regularly renewed ideally
after every meal.

To find out more, visit:

pro-t-action contains a tiny microorganism (blue) that protects the teeth from the Streptococcus mutans
bacteria (green) which cause cavities.

58 | Creating Chemistry
Creating Chemistry now online
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Creating Chemistry | 59